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DepEd: School Opening may take place in August, IATF to call the shots on Students’ Physical Attendance

Covid19 pandemic has been all over the place, and every sector of our government is racing to modify the plans they have for 2020. Department of Education was no stranger to this abrupt replanning and reorganizing of school days for this year. DepEd announced on Tuesday (April 21, 2020)that the opening of classes may start in August instead of June.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said on the public briefing that the decision is based on the consultations made by the department to the official, sectors, teachers, and stakeholders.
“Tinatanong namin anong sa palagay nila ang tamang panahon na magbukas ng eskuwelahan. Right now ang lumabasa sa ating consultations ay karamihan… para sa August,” she said.
Aside from the consultations to the officials, the Public’s voice was also heard since they conducted an online survey regarding the school year opening. The majority of the 700,000 participants were in favor to move the opening of the classes in August. 
Briones also said that the security of education facilities and the necessary amount of time needed to arrange curriculum revisions and the means of teaching and learning should be taken into consideration. She also said that despite the possible change of school opening date, the student must continue their learning by June through DepEd Commons. It’s an online educational platform for public schools and learners which supports alternative learning modalities amid enhanced community quarantine period.

(Also read: Press Release: DepEd statement on collaboration with Globe for Free Access in DepEd Commons)
While students may become excited about the August school opening, this may not mean that students will have to be physically present in attending classes, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan clarified. He said IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) will still have to decide whether students will be allowed to be on school premises physically.
“When we say we are opening the school year by probably by August, it does not necessarily mean ang mga bata ay pupunta sa paaralan. Depende ‘yan sa kung ano ang mapagdesisyunan ng IATF,” he said.
“Ang IATF pinag-aralan ng husto ang kalagayan sa buong bansa kaya kung ano ang rekomendasyon ng IATF at desisyon ng presidente, may influence ito kung kailan magbubukas ang klase,” Briones said.

It would be very beneficial for both the government and students to postpone the opening of classes because of the health threat that this Covid19 pandemic has brought into our shores. We are hoping to continue our education in any means that we can without endangering the health of our students. When will this all be over? Only time can tell. – Karie | Helpline PH