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Ongoing virtual classes in private schools to resume: Palace

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Virtual classes of private schools which have already started prior to the postponement of school opening will have to continue, Malacañang said on Friday.

“For private schools which have started to conduct online classes, they shall proceed holding classes,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.

Roque said the resumption of private schools’ online classes will be subject to present health and quarantine protocols imposed in their respective areas amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

He issued the statement after President Rodrigo Duterte, upon the recommendation of the Department of Education (DepEd), decided to move the start of classes to October 5 from August 24.

Roque said the deferment of school opening is applicable to “both public and private schools”.

“The President’s decision is based on the recommendation of the DepEd, in response to the implications of the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and in the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal,” he said.

In a virtual presser earlier Friday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said her office submitted on August 6 to President Duterte the recommendation to postpone the class opening after Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were placed under MECQ.

Roque said DepEd would release the necessary guidelines for the new date of opening of classes in the country.

The classes for Academic Year 2020-2021 were initially scheduled to open on August 24 and end on April 30, 2021.

The rescheduling of the school calendar was made possible following the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11480, which authorizes the President to set a different date for the start of the school year in the country during a state of emergency, or state or a state of calamity.

For now, the mode of teaching will be blended learning, a combination of online distance learning and distribution of education materials to learners, due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Face-to-face classes will not be allowed until a vaccine against Covid-19 is developed. (PNA)

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