On Monday, June 1, the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill that would authorize the President to postpone the opening of classes beyond August 2020
The chamber voted 23-0 during its “hybrid” session Senate Bill No. 1541, which seeks to amend Section 3 of Republic Act (RA) 7797 or “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days.”
Originally, the law mandated that the school year will commence from the first Monday of June to the last day of August.
“The immediate effect of this legislation would be to empower the President to move the start of the School Year 2020-2021 to September or even later in the event that public health authorities would recommend the postponement of the school year in order to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture, said in a statement following the approval of the bill.
“Should the measure be enacted into law before the scheduled opening of classes on August 24, the President and the Department of Education (DepEd) “would have more flexibility to start the school year if COVID-19 cases would continue to surge and threaten the safety of learners, teachers, and non-teaching personnel,” he noted.
The bill, which is a substitute measure consolidating proposals by Senators Joel Villanueva, Francis Tolentino, and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, covers all basic education institutions, including foreign or international schools.
Watch below the Senate Hearing on the opening of classes:
You Might Also Want To Read: Duterte favors opening classes once the vaccine is available