DepEd-7 chief: Congress should amend law on opening of classes

By: Futch Anthony Inso - Correspondent/CDN Digital | April 24,2020 - 04:00 PM
Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) director, discusses the opening of classes dates and why the law should be amended before moving start of classes dates.| CDN Digital file photo

Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, Department of Education in Central Visayas (DepEd-7) director, discusses the opening of classes dates and why the law should be amended before moving start of classes dates.| CDN Digital file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Congress should amend the law first on the opening of classes before implementing President Rodrigo Duterte’s recommendation to move the opening of classes to September in areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, Department of Education in Central Visayas regional director, said this when asked about the President’s recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) about the moving of the opening of classes.

Read more: School opening moved to September in GCQ areas

Jimenez said that under Republic Act No. 7977, the opening of classes would be scheduled between the first Monday in June until the last day of August.

“Ang atoa man gud ana is we do have a law, naa ta’y balaod (What we are trying to say is we do have a law), and there is a provision in that law that opening of classes shall not start earlier than the first Monday of June and will not start later than the last day of August,” he said.

“So the time frame for the opening based on that law is between first Monday of June to the last day of August,” the DepEd-7 chief said.

Read more: Republic Act No. 7977

Aside from the IATF, the University of the Philippines (UP) has also recommended moving the opening of classes to December.

Jimenez said that DepEd would need to follow the law regarding the schedule for the opening of classes.

“So possibly there is still a need to amend the law para ma-implement kay if molargo lang ta og ingon nga mag-open sa September unya we will not amend the law, so we are violating a provisions of the law,” he said.

Read more: Cebu netizens: No classes until pandemic ends

He also said that in their their Management Committee (MANCOM) meeting, the agency decided to move the opening of classes in August, upon consultation with different stakeholders.

They were also preparing for a modality that could be used by teachers in holding classes evenif the GCQ was still in effect in some areas.

Jimenez said that they would need to adopt the new norms in teaching, where they could hold classes face-to-face with the students, online or through a modular type.

He also said that the opening of classes might also depend on the number of COVID-19 cases in different areas and that those areas that would have no recorded cases of the virus could start their classes earlier, compared to areas with an increasing number of COVID-19 patients./dbs

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TAGS: Congress, law, opening of classes, Republic Act No. 7977

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