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Palace to Robredo: Law mandated school opening in August

Malacañang on Monday said the law mandated the opening of classes not later than August of every year.

This was the response of presidential spokesperson Harry Roque after Vice President Leni Robredo joined calls to reschedule the opening of classes to give teachers ample time to prepare for the alternative modes of teaching.

The opening of classes was set for August 24.

“As far as the actual date of classes, may batas po ‘yan [Republic Act 7797]. We have to comply with the law which is the last week of August. Unless Congress will pass a law providing that we could open on a later date,” Roque said in a televised briefing.

Congress passed a bill early this month that seeks to allow the President to set at any date the opening of classes in the entire Philippines or in selected affected areas during states of calamity or emergency.

President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to sign the proposed measure but he said face-to-face classes would not be held until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

Due to constraints tied to the public health emergency, the Department of Education decided to resume classes through distance learning, where students do not have to go to school to participate in classes to avoid possible transmission of the virus.

The department has been preparing for ways to deliver education to students through self-learning modules, broadcast media, and the internet. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News