In order to provide an appropriate answer on the issue of the school opening for SY 2020-2021, DepEd has been conducting consultations for the past 2 weeks, with its executive committee, management committee, civil society, business sector and education experts. Parents and learners also expressed their views on Facebook, and other forms of social media.

The law provides that school opening shall start on the first monday of June but not later that the last day of August. The responses favor any day in August as the preferred opening of the school year.

DepEd is conducting a much bigger survey of more than 700,000 respondents, not only on the opening of the school year but also matters related to social distancing; and online classes, cellphone, television or radio as alternative or complementary approaches to learning. The results will come out in a few days.

In the meantime, the IATF is seriously considering recommendations to the President on the ECQ.

All these factors will influence our final choice for the opening of the school year. We are accelerating the preparation of our Learning Continuity Plan (LCP), preparing benefits for our teaching and non-teaching staff, ensuring the readiness and cleanliness of our school infrastructure, and developing alternative delivery modes of learning.

It will be recalled that at the height of the Marawi uprising, our call was “education must continue!” In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, our call remains the same: Education must continue whether face-to-face or virtual, with or without physically going to school.

What we assure our learners, parents, teachers, and the general public is that any decision we will make for the continuation of learning will have their health, safety and well-being as primary consideration.

We shall overcome.

Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones

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