The enrollment for public school students is set to proceed on June 1, said presidential spokesperson Harry on May 27, Wednesday.
“Ang sigurado po, tuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga kabataan,” said Roque. “Ang isyu na lang, ano ang sitwasyon pagdating ng Agosto 24: ito ba ay sapat na para tayo ay mag-face-to-face [classes] o blended learning,” he added.
(What’s certain is that children’s education will continue. The only issue is what the situation will be like come August 24: will it be enough for us to start doing face-to-face classes or blended learning.)
Roque further noted that due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, the slated school opening can always change, and that the government is preparing for a combination of face-to-face and blended learning, wherein students use television, radio, as well as electronic and online media to learn. A total of 350 new cases of coronavirus disease or COVID-19 was confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH) on May 26.
In an earlier televised statement, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not want to classes to phsyically open while a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available.
Roque clarified that face-to-face classes would not be possible while the country is still under any form of community-wide quarantine. The government is considering building improvised classrooms in barangays to help students who have little to no access to the Internet. DOH secretary Francisco Duque III emphasized that schools would need to meet minimum health standards to resume physical operations.
The Department of Education (DepEd) recently announced that classes for the 2020-2021 school year are set to open on August 24, a decision which was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in early May. The school year is set to run from August 24, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Republic Act No. 7977 mandates that a school may lengthen its school calendar from two hundred no more than two hundred twenty class days, in the event of “natural or man-made calamities.”