Duterte approves IATF recommendation to reopen schools in September

Bonz Magsambol
Duterte approves IATF recommendation to reopen schools in September
(UPDATED) 'Lahat ng eskuwelahan i-consider po ang late opening sa Setyembre, except po sa online learning,' says Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the government task force on the coronavirus outbreak to move the opening of classes for school year 2020-2021 to September. 

“Lahat ng eskuwelahan i-consider po ang late opening sa Setyembre, except po sa online learning,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a pre-recorded statement aired on Friday, April 24. (All schools should consider opening classes late, in September, except for online learning.) 

Republic Act No. 7977, also known as “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) days to not more that Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days,” says the “school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.”

On Tuesday, April 21, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said schools were eyeing August for the opening of classes for the next school year.

She, however, had also said that they would still consider the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the opening of classes.

The education department was also considering information communication technology (ICT) platforms, television, and radio in delivering lessons during the coronavirus crisis.

Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said that the opening of school year 2020-2021 “does not necessarily mean that students will be coming to school.”

Meanwhile, Roque said the late opening of classes would not apply to colleges and universities. 

Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero de Vera III earlier said higher education institutions were allowed to to adjust their approved academic calendars in view of the coronavirus pandemic. – Rappler.com

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.