If approved by President Duterte, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that the opening of School Year (SY) 2021-2022 will be in August or September.
“Right now, may choice siya – iyong existing law na August ang pinaka-latest at kung mag-extend siya, he can extend up to the first two weeks of September (Right now, he [Duterte] has a choice – the existing law that August is the latest and if he extends, he can extend up to the first two weeks of September),” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said in a public briefing on June 15.
While the preparations of the upcoming school year are ongoing, Briones said that nothing has been finalized since there is a need to closely monitor the behavior of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) which is the “Delta” variant.
Briones said that if the new COVID-19 variant will be “difficult to control” or manage, DepEd will still recommend the opening of classes but alternative learning delivery modalities with be used.
“Kung talagang mahirap i-control itong bagong variant, nandiyan naman iyong ating ibang paraan. Hindi na natin gagamitin iyong sinasabing face-to-face, ang gagamitin largely will be technology (If it is really difficult to control this new variant, there are other ways. We will no longer use what we call ‘face-to-face,’ what will be used largely will be technology),” Briones said.
Briones maintained that while learning continuity amid a pandemic remains challenging, “education will not stop.” DepEd, she added, will continue to find ways to ensure that “no one should be left behind” when it comes to education.
“Patuloy ang pag-aaral, ang paraan sa pagbigay o sa pag-share sa pag-develop ng ating mga learners at pagbukas ng eskuwelahan, ayon decision ng Presidente pero bibigyan siya ng lahat ng impormasyon at datos na kailangan niya (Learning will continue, the manner by which we give or share in the development of our learners and the opening of the school, will be according to the decision of the President but he will be given all the information and data he needs),” Briones added.
Briones told parents that while learning will still be challenging, there will be certain “adjustments” in the delivery of learning and manner of teaching – among others – to help learners cope with the distance or blended learning set-up.
The continuity of education, Briones stressed, is very important for Filipino learners because a missing out a year will have a great impact on their future and the country’s future – in general.
Parents, Briones said, should also consider what kind of future awaits the society, the Philippines as well as the needs of the younger generation.
“Kaya, tuloy ang edukasyon, walang maiiwan; siguro ang kombinasyon ang magbabago ang Presidente ang magde-decide (So, education continues, no one will be left behind; maybe the combination [learning delivery] will change [but] the President will nbe the one to decide),” she added.