IATF: Private schools allowed to open classes in June

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will allow the resumption of classes in private schools in June so long as there would be no “face-to-face” interactions, Malacañang said on Saturday.

During the Laging Handa program aired on state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said face-to-face learning could only be done beginning August 24.

Roque, who is also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said private schools that intend to start in June may opt to hold virtual classes or homeschooling.

“Yung mga ilang pribadong paaralan na nais magsimula ng Hunyo, wala po iyang face-to-face interactions (For those private schools that want to open in June, there should be no face-to-face interactions),” he said. “Wala pa pong face-to-face hanggang Agosto 24, 2020 (Face-to-face learning is not allowed until August 24).”

Roque made the statement as he announced the IATF-EID’s decision to adopt the Department of Education’s (DepEd) basic education learning continuity plan amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis in the country.

The DepEd announced on Tuesday that the new school year would open in August, either through physical or virtual classes.

In its latest resolution, the IATF-EID agreed to schedule the formal opening of School Year 2020-2021 on August 24 and end on April 30 next year.

“Ayon po dito sa inaprubang resolusyon, ang pagbubukas po ng klase para sa basic education ay simula na po ng 24 ng Agosto 2020 at magtatapos ng Abril 30, 2021 (Based on the approved resolution, the opening of classes for basic education will begin on August 24, 2020 and will end on April 30, 2021),” he said.

Schools may adopt flexible learning options, such as face-to-face interactions, distance learning, and homeschooling, Roque said, adding that extracurricular activities like school sports, campus journalism, and job fairs, would be canceled to protect students against Covid-19.

Classes in public schools usually open in June every year while classes in private schools can start either in July or August as they are allowed to deviate from the school calendar prescribed by DepEd.

However, Republic Act 7977 or an Act Lengthening the School Calendar allows the school opening to be scheduled on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August. (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, PNA)

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