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âDuterte has final say on school openingâ
In a statement, the DepEd said its role is to present options for the President’s consideration, including the proposal to start the school year on Aug. 23.
The STAR/Boy Santos, file

‘Duterte has final say on school opening’

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 1, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The final decision on the schedule for the opening of next school year rests on President Duterte, the Department of Education (DepEd) said yesterday.

In a statement, the DepEd said its role is to present options for the President’s consideration, including the proposal to start the school year on Aug. 23.

Citing Republic Act 11480, the DepEd said it is mandated to open the school year not later than the last day of August unless the President intervenes.

Signed by Duterte last year, RA 11480 allows the Chief Executive – upon the recommendation of the DepEd secretary – to move or reschedule the opening of classes any time of the year during the state of emergency or calamity.

The DepEd said it is still conducting policy consultation and review with concerned stakeholders to determine the most appropriate course of action on this matter.

“We shall issue the official guidelines for School Year 2021-2022 calendar soon,” it added.

In an interview with radio dzBB on Thursday, DepEd Undersecretary for curriculum and instruction Diosdado San Antonio said the Aug. 23 schedule is only a recommendation and will be subject to a final decision by the President.

Asked if face-to-face classes will be implemented when the new school year begins, San Antonio said it is also a decision vested on the Chief Executive.

Last December, Duterte recalled his earlier approval for the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas due to the threat of new COVID-19 variants.

Regarding concerns over the shortened break should the Aug. 23 school opening push through, San Antonio appealed for understanding and support, given the need of Filipino students to catch up with their education.

“Let us make it as an investment for our Filipino students,” he said, noting that the vacation will just be two weeks shorter than the original two months.

The DepEd official also assured the public that there will be academic ease measures similar to the ones implemented this current school year.

While no details have been approved yet on the upcoming school year, San Antonio said there will be a break in May next year to give way to the conduct of the elections.

DEPED PRESIDENT DUTERTE SCHOOL
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