Duterte has the last word on the opening of the school year

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 30) – On Friday, the Ministry of Education clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte had the final decision on the opening of the next school year.

“The Ministry of Education would like to point out that the president has the final decision on the opening of the school year, in accordance with the law of the Republic 11480,” the agency said, referring to the measure amending the RA 7797, also known as the “Law to Extend the School Calendar from 200 days to 220 days at the most.” “

He added that the August 23 mentioned earlier by Under-Secretary of Education Diosdado San Antonio is just one of his options to present to Duterte.

“The proposed start date of August 23 is only one of the options since the DepEd is mandated to open the school year no later than the last day of August under the same law unless the president does not intervene, ”explained DepEd.

According to RA 11480, a school year begins on the first Monday in June but no later than the last day of August. However, in the event of the proclamation of a state of emergency or a state of calamity, the president, on the recommendation of the head of education, may set a different date.

Consultations and policy reviews with affected parties are still ongoing to determine the right course of action and official guidelines for the 2021-2022 school year will be released soon, DepEd added.

San Antonio said earlier that the department is proposing that the next school year begin on August 23. However, critics said the recommendation was just another issue, noting that it cuts “proportional vacation pay for teachers from 80 days to just 59 if Class 23 openness makes itself felt.” “

The current school year for kindergarten to high school students was originally scheduled to end on June 11, but has been moved to July 10. DepEd said this was due to learning gaps that need to be filled “to meet the essential learning skills required.”

The current school year has faced obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To ensure lifelong learning, DepEd has implemented “blended learning” which involves the use of print materials, internet sessions, and radio and television broadcasts. However, this also created new challenges due to the limited access to this material for many Filipino learners.

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