File photo of Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto
The STAR/ Michael Varcas
Pasig preparing for possible shift to virtual classes — Vico Sotto
Bella Perez-Rubio ( - May 26, 2020 - 11:31am

MANILA, Philippines — Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday said that he is working with the Department of Education to prepare for two possibilities: the resumption of classes or a shift to virtual classes.

If DepEd decides to shift to virtual classes, Pasig's mayor said in a statement posted to his Facebook and Twitter page that the city is "preparing better internet connections at the barangay level where students can download the modules."

Sotto added that he is also "identifying funds for personal learning devices for students."  



The department previously announced that classes for school year 2020-2021 would formally open on August 24 but did not specify whether it would be through physical or virtual means. 

"Whatever happens, we cannot allow our students in public schools to fall behind," Sotto said in Filipino.  

Sotto's statement came in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement that he was not in favor of opening classes until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available. 

"No studying, just play instead. Unless I am sure that they are really safe," Duterte said in a mix of Filipino and English during a televised meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

Duterte, however, did not announce any further plans to address how such a postponement of classes might affect employment and schools. 

Under Republic Act 7977 or the Act on Lengthening of School Calendar, school opening may be scheduled on the first week of June and the last day of August.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said the scheduled opening of classes on August 24 "can be virtual, it can also be physical in areas where schools are allowed to open."

"It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should attend class physically because we have lockdowns enforced in various areas," Briones said earlier this month.

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