Saturday online classes eyed if ever school year opens August—DepEd
Due to COVID-19 uncertainties, classes likely to open on August said DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones
Apr 21, 2020
The prospect of adopting an internationally-utilized academic calendar has been in question for the Philippine public education sector for many years now. Many argue that missed learning opportunities due to class suspensions brought about by typhoons will be lessened as school starts August and ends June. Now, faced with an unprecedented pandemic, the Department of Education (DepEd) says it may open next school year by August.
After nationwide consultations with experts and stakeholders, Secretary Leonor Briones said that DepEd is considering moving the first day of classes this academic year to August from June.
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In a press briefing, Briones said, “Ang lumabas sa ating consultations ay karamihan nagsasabi, para may panahon tayo sa pagbabago ng edukasyon, pagbabago sa pamamaraan ng pagtuturo at saka para masigurado na malinis at safe ang ating kabataan, ay karamihan ay August.”
Last week, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said that according to law, class opening extension is only allowed until August, which Briones echoed along with the required minimum number of days for learning prescribed for students.
“Ang concern namin, gusto naming matapos din by March, but at the same time, mag-comply ng number of days which is required by law for students to be learning,” Briones told a local news channel.
The education chief is also considering the possibility of adopting Saturday online classes to make up for lost time. “Kinoconsider namin ang possibility ng Saturday classes pero hindi ’yung mga face-to-face classes, they can do their work at home,” she said.
Briones was quoted in an interview suggesting parents and students make use of alternative online learning portals like the DepEd Commons, a website where students can browse resources for learning specific to each grade level from preschool to senior high school and even to those enrolled in alternative learning systems.
DepEd has recently partnered with local telecommunications company Globe to make access to its e-learning portal free of data charge.
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Meanwhile, on Monday, Apr. 20, Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said they are looking into alternative learning settings, which include utilizing information communication technology platforms such as television and radio to broadcast lessons.
At the onset of COVID-19 in the country, DepEd has suspended graduation rites due to the implementation of social distancing measures as well as the ban on mass gatherings.
Header photo courtesy of Lyn Rillon/Inquirer
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