Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s opposition to the physical opening of classes, Malacañang said on Wednesday, May 27, said that the enrollment in public schools will proceed on June 1, as scheduled.
"Tuloy po 'yan [school enrollment] dahil hindi naman po tayo pupuwede na walang preparasyon (That will proceed because we have to prepare)," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a DZMM interview.
Roque said that face-to-face classes will only be allowed in areas that are no longer under community quarantine by the time classes start.
He said what is certain is that students would continue their education.
"Ang sigurado po, tuloy ang pag-aaral ng mga kabataan. Ang isyu na lang, ano ang sitwasyon pagdating ng Agosto 24? Ito ba ay sapat na para tayo ay mag-face-to-face [classes] o blended?" Roque said.
(What is certain is that the kids' education would continue. The only issue here is what would be the situation by August 24? Will the situation permit us to do face-to-face classes or blended.)
On Monday, May 25, Duterte rejected moves to reopen schools in August, clashing with the Department of Education's (DepEd) earlier announcement that it could resume face-to-face classes in areas with eased quarantine protocols. Malacañang later clarified that the President was referring to physical classes.
DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones earlier announced that school year 2020 to 2021 would resume on August 24, as approved by the government's coronavirus task force, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had also said that opening classes then would be "safe" as long as health protocols are observed.
During an earlier Senate hearing, Briones said that schools may resume classes physically on the week of August 24 to orient students on how classes will be conducted during the pandemic. After that, Briones said, schools may opt to shift to online learning.
Parents and students had criticized DepEd's decision, as the finances of households had been affected by quarantine policies. Some questioned the soundness of the policy as some households don't even have access to the internet or to a computer. (READ: No student left behind? During pandemic, education ‘only for those who can afford’)
On Tuesday night, Metro Manila mayors agreed to recommend to the national government that the National Capital Region be placed on general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1.
(MECQ)The NCR, Laguna, Cebu City, and Mandaue City in Cebu are on modified enhanced community quarantine from May 16 to 31.
As of Tuesday, the Philippines has recorded 14,669 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 886 deaths and 3,412 recoveries. – Rappler.com