The Department of Education (DepEd) is eyeing the possible extension of the current school year to address the challenges under the distance learning set-up.
DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio told the Manila Bulletin that the key officials of the agency “are discussing the matter” related to the possible extension of the academic calendar for School Year (SY) 2021-2022.
San Antonio, in a recent television interview, also noted that while there is no definite schedule yet, DepEd is considering implementing changes in the current school calendar.
“Wala pang definite number of weeks na extension pero isa ‘yan sa tinitingnan namin (There are no definite number of weeks yet for the extension but we are looking into this),” San Antonio said.
The possible extension in the school calendar, San Antonio said, aims to give students an opportunity to complete their academic requirements.
“Para ang lahat ng mag-aaral, lalo na iyong medyo nagkakaroon ng challenges, ay mabigyan ng pagkakataon na maisumite ang mga kailangang gawin (This is to give students, especially those who are having challenges, a chance to submit their school requirements),” he added.
Classes in public schools nationwide officially started on Oct. 5. DepEd said that over 25 million students enrolled at the basic education level – both public and private schools.
To ensure the safety of teachers and students amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, DepEd is currently implementing a distance learning set-up where students are not allowed to physically go to school.
Students are currently learning their lessons at home through multiple learning delivery modalities such as modular (printed and offline), online, radio and television-based instruction and blended learning or a combination of two or more modalities.
As a response to the “key challenges” in the teaching-learning process amid the COVID-19 pandemic, DepEd made adjustments in the four quarters for the school year 2020-2021 in October.
Among the adjustments is the extension of the First Quarter of the school year from Nov. 28 until Dec. 12.
The succeeding quarters were also adjusted wherein the Second Quarter will start Jan. 4, 2021 to Feb. 27; the Third Quarter will be on Mar. 1 to April 24 and Fourth Quarter is set on April 26 to June 11.
DepEd also directed schools to implement various academic ease measures to help learners and parents who are having difficulties under the distance learning set-up.