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IATF suggests moving opening of classes to September

The government’s inter-agency task force on emerging and infectious diseases (IATF) recommended Friday that the opening of classes be moved to September as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus pandemic.

“Lahat ng eskwelahan i-consider po ang late opening sa Setyembre, except po sa online learning,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

The proposal comes as the government prepared the country’s shift to a “new normal” in response to the pandemic.

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) acting Director-General Karl Chua meanwhile clarified that the September opening of classes is only a recommendation.

He said the Department of Education (DepEd) would still present its recommendations to the IATF given that under the law, classes should open from June to August.

“Ang gusto po iparating ng DepEd ay magprepresent sila sa IATF ng kanilang recommendation para sumunod tayo sa batas. Anyway hanggang end of August pwede naman po,” Chua said in a press briefing in Malacañang Friday.

“Hintayin na lang natin ang DepEd para magpresent at yung IATF ang magsasabi kung policy na,” he added.

The education department earlier said they are looking at opening classes again in August instead of June due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the IATF recommendation, the DepEd in an official statement, said it “makes no further comment” on the issue.

A study by the a University of the Philippines Resilience Institute showed that suspension of classes until December can lessen interaction between young people that, in turn, can reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

DepEd has assured the public that “any decision we will make for the continuation of learning” will primarily consider the health and welfare of students, and teachers.


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