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Duterte signs law on rescheduling opening of classes amid calamities

By: Krissy Aguilar - July 20,2020 - 11:23 AM

This file photo shows students attending a flag-raising ceremony before singing the national anthem at a government school in Manila. | AFP File Photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure that will allow the chief executive to move or reschedule the start of the school year in an event of a state of emergency or state of calamity.

The President signed on July 17, 2020, Republic Act No. 11480, which amends Republic Act 7797, which mandates the opening of classes between the first Monday of June until the last day of August.

“The school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August. Provided, that in the event of a declaration of a state of emergency or state of calamity, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, may set a different date for the start of the school year in the country or parts thereof,” the law, which was made public Monday, read.

The education secretary will then determine the end of the regular school year while “taking into considerations the Christmas and summer vacations, and the peculiar circumstances in each region.”

“In the exercise of this authority, the Secretary of Education may authorize the holding of Saturday classes for elementary and secondary levels for public and private schools,” it read.

The Department of Education (DepEd), amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, has set the opening of classes for school year 20202-21 on August 24, 2020.

Duterte himself earlier rejected the resumption of physical classes until a vaccine against the COVID-19 becomes available.

DepEd said it will implement a blended learning program where learning modules, television, radio and the internet are utilized as media of instruction.

Meanwhile, there are proposals to conduct limited face-to-face classes in areas under the most lenient lockdown measure or modified general community quarantine. / gsg

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TAGS: opening of classes, state of calamity

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