MANILA (UPDATE) — The school year opening will push through on Aug. 24, 2020, Malacañang said Wednesday, following President Rodrigo Duterte's rejection of face-to-face classes without a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.
"Ang sigurado po, tuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga kabataan. 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," said Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.
(It is certain that the education of the youth will continue. The only issue is the situation come Aug. 24: will it be enough for us to hold face-to-face classes or blended learning.)
Face-to-face classes will only be allowed in areas where community quarantines are lifted totally by the start of the school year, Roque earlier said.
Areas which are still under quarantine by Aug. 24 will use "blended learning" which taps the internet, radio and television to teach students, he said.
Enrollments starts Monday, June 1, said Roque. "Tuloy po iyan dahil hindi naman po pupuwedeng wala tayong preparasyon," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(That will push through because we cannot do without preparations.)
The DepEd has scheduled the enrollment period for the entire month of June, which can be accomplished either physically or online.
Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan earlier said the enrollment in June would "revalidate" the early registration for School Year 2020 to 2021, which was held last February to March, since some parents may no longer send their children to schools during the pandemic.
Duterte earlier said he would not allow physical classes until a novel coronavirus vaccine is developed.
Schools can open "as long as minimum health standards are met," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Twitter.
"If standards are not met, best to wait for a vaccine," he added.