Duterte now has power to amend school calendar

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    PRESIDENT Duterte has signed into law Republic Act 11480 that will give him the power to amend the school calendar if there is an existing state of calamity or emergency in the country.

    The new law, which amended RA 7797 or the “Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from 200 Days to Not More Than Two 220 Class Days” and stated that the opening of the school year may start on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August, was signed by Duterte last July 17.

    In the event of a state of emergency or calamity, the President, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Education, may set a different date for the start of the school year for the entire country or parts thereof.

    The school opening shall apply to all schools that offer basic education, including international and foreign schools operating in the country.

    The law states that the Education Secretary shall determine the end of the regular school year, taking into account the Christmas and summer vacations and the “peculiar circumstances of each region.”

    The Education Secretary may also authorize the holding of Saturday classes for elementary and secondary levels for public and private schools if needed.

    The new law, which was made public yesterday, will take effect 15 days from publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

    Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said despite the law, the school opening for school year 2020-2021 remains on August 24.

    Roque said blended learning modes that combine the use of distance learning, learning modules, television and radio and a possibility of face to face classes in some areas will be adopted. – With Noel Talacay