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Magdalo solon’s proposal: Defer school year, accelerate qualified students

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Magdalo party-list Rep. Manuel Cabochan III filed House Bill 6797 to allow the Secretary of Education to defer the start of the school year in case of state of emergency or state of calamity.

His bill seeks to amend Republic Act 7797, which provides that the school year should start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August.

“There is a growing concern for the safety of the children if classes will resume on August. The rising number of Covid-19 cases and limited testing capacity pose high health risk for the students and the faculty. Immediate resumption of classes may also increase transmission of the virus,” Cabochan said.

“It is for these reasons that I am for the deferment of the start of the school year,” he said.

Cabochan, however, clarified that this should not mean that resumption of classes will depend solely on the development of a vaccine for Covid-19.

“This does not mean that we will just wait until a vaccine will be developed. The deferment of the start of the school year is in view of the present conditions that would make the immediate resumption of classes risky,” he said.

“Moreover, experts have also suggested that suspension of classes for the meantime could help in slowing down the spread of the virus,” Cabochan stressed.

The bill also provides for qualifying examinations that would determine if the student could accelerate to the next year level if the state of emergency or state of calamity is prolonged.

“I recognize the capability of some schools to proceed with the classes through online learning. Private schools that have enrollees and are able to provide purely online learning may be given the option to proceed,” Cabochan said.

“However, not all students have resources for online learning, as what the case is in both private and public schools. To address this, I am also proposing that there be qualifying exams for acceleration for students who are not able to attend online classes,” he added.

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