MANILA (UPDATE) - The Department of Education said Tuesday it was leaning towards opening the next school year in August and considering Saturday classes in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency consulted officials, education experts and businesses nationwide regarding the school year, which under the law should start between June and August, said DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
"The leaning is August for opening," she told CNN Philippines. "Whether it's last week, first week: we'll see how it goes."
In a later press briefing, Briones said the opening of classes may still be influenced by the decisions of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Diseases (IATF) and President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Kung ano man ang rekomendasyon ng IATF at desisyon ng presidente... may influence ito kung kailan magbukas ang klase," she said at the Laging Handa public briefing.
(Whatever is the recommendation of the IATF and decision of the president... it may influence when classes would open.)
The DepEd eyes ending the 2020-2021 academic year in March, just like in previous years, while complying with the required number of school days, which is why the agency is considering Saturday classes, she said.
"Kino-consider namin ang possibility, for example, of Saturday classes, pero hindi iyong mga face-to-face classes. They can do their work at home," Briones said.
(We are considering the possibility, for example, of Saturday classes, which will not be face-to-face.)
The entire Luzon and several regions were earlier locked down to slow the spread of COVID-19. The move has delayed the administration of final exams in schools, DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan. earlier said.