DepEd eyes August 23 as opening for SY 2021-2022 – The Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to start the next school year on August 23, shortening students’ break to 6 weeks from the usual 2 months, according to Usec. San Antonio.
“Ang napag-usapan natin ay July 10 matatapos at kung hindi mabago, August 23 magbubukas [ang next school year]. So halos 6 na linggo ‘yong break sa pagitan ng 2 school year,” Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said in an interview.
“Parang 2 weeks lang naman shorter [sa] dating 2 months kasi pandemya naman. Sana hindi na siya mahirap para sa marami,” he added.
San Antonio said the department was also preparing for an “ideal scenario” next school year, where limited in-person classes would complement distance learning modalities.
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“Iyong ideal scenario namin, papayagan na ang mga bata na magpunta sa school, kahit paminsan-minsan. May pinaghahandaan din kaming stratehiya para diyan,” he said.
The education official also assured the public that the DepEd would be more “responsive” should learning continue through completely remote means next school year.
“At least iyong mga mali-maling learning resources, naayos na natin. Iyong mga learning resources, nandiyan na so hindi na kasing hirap,” San Antonio said.
“Dahil may karanasan na rin sa pagsasagawa nito (distance learning) ngayong pasukan, makakagawa na rin ang mga kasamang guro natin at mga principal ng mas mainam na paraan para ang mga bata ay hindi masyadong mahirapan,” he said.
In response to the DepEd’s plan, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) urged the agency to give “due consideration to the well-being of both teachers and students.”
The group reminded the DepEd that the current school year already required teachers to render 77 more working days than the mandated 220 days in a school calendar.
“DepEd has yet to provide answers on how it plans to grant teachers their rightful leave benefits and overtime pay, and it’s already presenting another problem,” it said in a statement.
“Pushing our teachers beyond their limits could prove to be counterproductive to achieving our goals as it can lead to the undoing of the very backbone of education continuity,” the teachers’ union said.
San Antonio said the DepEd is also set to release guidelines in conducting graduation rites for School Year 2020 to 2021.
“Tungkol sa face-to-face graduation, ang tingin ko hindi pa rin [papayagan]. Pero virtual, payag,” he said.
“At the end of the day, ang tatanungin nila kung gusto nilang gawin iyon, compliant ba ‘yan sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) guidelines,” he said, referring to the inter-government agency body that manages the country’s pandemic response.
He added that the DepEd would respect how private schools would conduct graduation rites as long as they are in accordance with IATF guidelines.
Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines Executive Director Jose Allan Arellano said private institutions are in talks with local DepEd offices in organizing “graduations according to their lockdown status.”
“Most of those who gave feedback to us are doing virtual graduation to avoid gatherings,” Arellano said in a text message.
Classes in Philippine schools usually start in June but it was moved to October 5 last year to give more time for the country’s education system to shift to distance learning, which was implemented after in-person classes were banned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DepEd eyes August 23 as opening for SY 2021-2022 – Updated: April 28, 2021
Source: ABS-CBN NEWS
Read more: DepEd News
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