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Davao City, Philippines

DepEd: Wait for official word on class opening

May 26, 2020 - Tuesday 6:05 PM by Ruth Palo

Article Banner Image FINDING SPACE. A Grade VI pupil looks for a space in a crowded classroom in Marahan West Elementary School in Marahan, Marilog District, Davao City. RUBY THURSDAY MORE / MINDANEWS

DAVAO CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd) 11 urged the public to avoid speculation and instead wait for the official announcement if the opening of classes for school year (SY) 2020-2021 will still push through on August 24, 2020.

This after President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said he will not allow classes to proceed until a vaccine for COVID-19 has been developed.

According to DepEd 11 spokesperson Jenielito Atillo, the department will release an official statement at the soonest possible time.

“We urge all to wait for official announcements and never speculate and spread fake news,” Atillo told the Mirror.

Since the agency announced its decision to formally open the classes on August 24, it has been getting mixed reactions from various stakeholders, especially from parents, guardians, teachers, and learners, since the threat of COVID-19 still continues.

As of May 25, 2020, the total number of COVID-19 positive cases stood at 14,319, with an average of 149 new cases every day.

The continuing rise prompted Duterte to say he will not allow the opening of classes because students will be staying close to each other.

“Unless I am sure that they are really safe, it’s useless to be talking about the opening of classes… Para sa akin, bakuna muna,” the President said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, for his part, said he prioritizes the safety of students and supports the call to suspend face-to-face classes.

"We can't risk children going back until there is a vaccine. Very important po ang bakuna. Together with DepEd we will explore alternative means to modify classes for safe physical distancing,” Duque said in a statement.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, clarified on Tuesday morning that the President is prohibiting face-to-face classes only in areas that will still be under community quarantine by August 24.

Roque said face-to-face classes will only be allowed in all areas where community quarantine are being lifted totally by August 24.