(Eagle News)–Students can start enrolling in public schools in the country today albeit remotely, as the Department of Education looks to minimize physical contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to DepEd Order No. 008, there would be absolutely no face-to-face interaction for the first two weeks, with advisers contacting parents of continuing students to facilitate enrollment instead.
New students may contact public schools through their digital platforms to enroll.
After the two weeks, face-to-face interactions may be allowed, but only with the approval of the concerned local government unit.
The opening of classes is still scheduled for Aug. 24, a date the Teachers Dignity Coalition had expressed concerns about amid fears for the safety of children and teachers with the COVID19 virus still a possibility.
The TDC called on Congress to pass a law that would allow the President and the DepEd secretary to set the opening date beyond August 24, amending Republic Act No. 7797 that mandated the opening of classes between the first week of June but not beyond August.
The Senate has approved on second reading Senate Bill No. 1541 which seeks to make the amendment to allow for the deferment of the date beyond August if the President declares a state of emergency nationwide or in selected areas.
If passed into law, the new date for the opening of classes will be determined by the DepEd secretary.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte himself said it was “useless” to talk about an opening of classes without a COVID-19 vaccine, expressing fears for the safety of children.
The President said a vaccine may be available late this year.
He has also offered an at least P50-million reward for any Filipino who would develop a vaccine against the virus that has so far infected over 18000 people in the country.