IATF backs moving class opening to late September as Philippines expands COVID-19 lockdown


Posted at Apr 24 2020 09:00 AM | Updated as of Apr 24 2020 09:10 AM


MANILA - The opening of classes should be moved to "late September," the Inter Agency Task Force against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recommended Friday, as the Philippines expands its lockdown to curb the spread of the disease in the country.

"Lahat ng eskuwelahan i-consider po ang late opening sa Setyembre, except po sa online learning," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque read the recommendation in a taped statement

Education Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said some schools were looking at opening classes in August, instead of June, to avoid large congregations and congested classrooms where the disease may easily spread.

Briones said classes could still end in March, if schools would hold Saturday classes regularly next school year.

The Department of Education (DepEd) is also eyeing to deliver some lessons through television or radio should students remain restricted from traveling outside their homes due to the continued coronavirus lockdown.

The opening of school year 2020-2021 "does not mean necessarily that students will be coming to school," DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said.

"Sa mga lugar na hindi posible ang classroom-based instruction, tinitingnan natin itong ICT (information and communication technology) platforms saka ang telebisyon, radyo," he said.

(In areas where classroom-based instruction is not possible, we are looking at ICT platforms, as well as television and radio.)

Senate Committee on Basic Education chair Sherwin Gatchalian earlier said classrooms should only accommodate up to 20 students once the government allows schools to resume physical classes to ensure that there would be proper social distancing among learners.