MANILA — The Department of Education has clarified that its plan to open the next school year on August 23 is just one of the options that would be presented to President Rodrigo Duterte, who will make the final decision on the matter.
"The August 23 start date proposal is only one of the options since DepEd is mandated to open the school year not later than the last day of August under the same law unless the President intervenes," the DepEd said in a statement.
Republic Act 7797 states that the start of the school year should take place "on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August." But a new law passed last year allows the president to adjust the opening of classes during a state of emergency or calamity.
"We will be proposing various options for the President’s consideration," the DepEd said without mentioning the other options.
"We are still conducting policy consultation and review with concerned stakeholders to determine the most appropriate course of action on this matter," it added.
Last Tuesday, Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio said the agency was looking at starting classes for School Year 2021 to 2022 on August 23, shortening students' and teachers' vacation from 8 to 6 weeks.
The announcement drew protests from teachers who have been forced to render 77 more working days after the current school year was extended.
Public school teachers have been reporting for work since June 1, 2020 or 4 months before the school year started last October 5.
— Report from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News