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DepEd: Private schools may open as early as June, but no face-to-face learning before Aug. 24

The Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday private schools may be allowed to open as early as June, but no "face-to-face" learning will be allowed earlier than August 24, 2020.

"Because we have an existing law which states the first week of June up to last day of August will allow the opening of schools," Education Secretary Leonor Briones explained in a press briefing.

"Also, we emphasize that when we say schools will open on August 24, it does not mean all of these activities will be face-to-face activities," she added.

DepEd set the opening of the school year 2020-2021 on August 24, 2020 and the ending on April 30, 2021.

During the briefing, Briones stressed that face-to-face learning “shall only be allowed when the local risk severity grading permits, and subject to compliance with minimum health standards.”

DepEd is also set to implement the adoption of various learning delivery options such as, but not limited to, face-to-face blended learnings, distance learnings, and homeschooling and other modes of delivery “depending on the local COVID Risk Severity Classification and compliance with the minimum health standards.”

Moreover, Briones said the conduct of curricular and co-curricular gatherings such as science fairs, showcase of portfolios, trade fairs, school sports, campus journalism, festival of talents, and job fairs are “cancelled,” except for those conducted online.

Distance learning

The DepEd secretary also assured the public that the government is taking steps to make distance learning available even to students who do not have access to the internet or mobile services.

“By distance learning, we mean all the other traditional ways by which learning has been delivered outside of face-to-face,” the official said.

“For example we have noticed a frequent observation and is that not all phases in the country have access to ICT, or to platforms. We also noticed that there are more cellphones than humans in the cellphones can be a medium of transmission,” she added.

“And then we also have television. Many of us right now in the Philippines have access to television. And, finally, if there are places where there is no television, we have the classic way of transmitting knowledge and news, which is radio.”

She mentioned that the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has offered to use the government’s television and radio stations for implementation of the DepEd’s learning continuity plan.—AOL, GMA News