DepEd 11 prepares online, offline classes for August school opening

An elementary student checks her class’s online activities from a laptop on Sunday. Some schools have continued to provide online education as students were unable to attend school due to Covid-19 pandemic. Edge Davao

The Department of Education 11 (DepEd 11) braces for learning continuity program once the opening for the next school year in August is approved. 

DepEd-11 Spokesperson Jenielito Atillo told Edge Davao that public and private schools in Davao Region are ready to continue classes in August through online and offline methods.   Atillo said for schools in areas with internet connection, they can do online classes; and for the schools in the areas without access to the internet, can do offline classes by using modules. 

DepEd is pushing for the resumption of classes in August following President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval to the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on the coronavirus outbreak to move the opening of classes for school year 2020-2021 to September.

DepEd will present its recommendation on the opening of the next school year to the IATF on the first week of May.

Atillo explained that DepEd will be pushing for the August opening for two reasons. First, August is within the scope of Republic Act 7797 or an act to lengthen the school calendar from 200 days to not more than 220 class days. 

“This law emphatically states that “classes can be opened on the 1st day of June and not later than the last day of August”,” he said.                                     

 For the second reason, Atillo cited that based on their survey on the opening of classes for SY 2020-2021, August is the overwhelming response coming from the nationwide consultation and nationwide survey that DepEd has conducted.

“The two months hiatus (June and July) will give us enough elbow room to further ready our teachers and our programs in August opening if our proposal is approved by President Duterte,” Mr. Atillo said. 

Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has urged school authorities including higher education institutions to get ready with their “stay-home classes” plan.

In an interview with government-run Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) 87.5, Duterte-Carpio said the plan for online classes, distance learning, and take-home modules should at least cover two months because the lifting of the community quarantine is still indefinite.

“The doctors said the quarantine may be lifted in August but they too, cannot answer that. If it’s in August, we are advising you this early to prepare until July 31, 2020, with your online classes, distance learning, take-home module, so that children could continue their schooling despite the quarantine,” she said.