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DepEd: Private schools can start classes before October 5 using distance learning

The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Saturday, August 15, that private schools can start classes ahead of October 5 provided that they would be "strictly using distance learning modalities." (READ: FAST FACTS: DepEd’s distance learning)

DepEd issued the clarification on Saturday, after private schools that have already began classes expressed concern over the agency's announcement that school would open on October 5 instead of August 24. (READ: Private schools appeal to Duterte: Allow us to open schools as scheduled)

"After conferring with the Office of the Executive Secretary on the applicability of the decision to private schools and other non-DepEd schools, DepEd hereby clarifies that such private or non-DepEd schools that have already started their classes, or are scheduled to start classes on August 24 or on other dates ahead of October 5, are allowed to proceed provided they are strictly using only distance learning modalities and that there are no face-to-face classes," DepEd said in a statement.

DepEd said private schools that will open classes ahead of October 5 have to submit relevant documents to DepEd regional directors as required by DepEd Order No. 7 or the School Calendar and Activities for School Year 2020-2020, as well as DepEd Order No. 13, and DepEd Order No. 17 on readiness assessment, all issued this year.

On Friday, DepEd announced that it had postponed the opening of classes to October 5, pursuant to Republic Act No. 11480 which applies to both private and public schools. This caused confusion on whether private schools were covered by the order.

As of Friday, some 1.6 million private schools students have enrolled for this school year – a third of last year's 4.4 million enrollees for private institutions. – Rappler.com

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.

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