The Department of Education (DepEd) has announced today, July 16, 2021, that classes for the school year 2021-2022 will begin on September 13, 2021.
According to DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones, the department submitted several date options for President Rodrigo Duterte, and he chose September 13 as the final date.
In a statement made last June 22, the department stated that the following dates were presented to the President: August 23, September 6, September 13, 2021. The president chose the latest of the proposed dates.
Adjusting the date is within his power as president through Republic Act 11480. Through recommendations of the Education Secretary, the law states the president can: “set a different date for the start of the school year in the country or parts thereof,” while the country is in a state of emergency or calamity. The same law also states that the school calendar has been extended from 200 days to 220 days.
The current school year ended last July 10. The new announced beginning of the next school year will give students and teachers time to rest and prepare.
With the new date, will President Duterte possibly declare limited face-to-face classes?
Only time will tell. But, the June 22 statement sheds light on this, saying, “In light of the emergence of contagious variants of COVID-19 in the country, the Department of Education (DepEd) will follow the decision of the president to postpone the implementation of limited face-to-face classes in low-risk areas. Enhanced blended learning will continue to be implemented.”
Private schools may already start classes ahead of this date, provided that it is through blended learning. However, public schools are advised to follow the department’s stated date and to consult for their steps moving forward.