DepEd 80% ready for new normal

City Supt. Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde - Ready anytime?

The Department of Education  in Dumaguete is now 80% ready for the flexible opening dates of classes and that a similar percentage has now enrolled themselves on-line for the start of the academic school year under the new normal.

This was announced by Dr. Gregorio Cyrus Elejorde, city school division superintendent in a CHRONICLE interview over DYEM fm Bai Radio Crosstalk Show.

President Duterte meanwhile has passed  new law thru Congress authorizing the President to set the new  date of staggered school openings depending on the Covid situation so as not to disrupt the uniformity of class materials. (Read story on page 2)

He said there are about 27,000 public school students in all levels in Dumaguete and about l5,000 in the private  elementary and high schools. The tertiary level is around 6000 expected enrolees.

He informed about three modalities in teaching under this Covid Pandemic conditons namely:

The on-line  academics; the modular teaching and the very limited social distancing classrooms.  However,only the modular , and on-line methods are viable t this time, even possibly using radio and TV . said |Elejorde.

The modular method will be educational  popsheets distributed house-to-house to students while the on-line will be social media based on Facebook and other platforms. The third method will be a radio educational program which will be heard on transistor radios to be provided by DepEd to students.

Only 80% of city public school teachers are computer-literate. What is difficult is to form teams of three groups that will handle modular, on-line and very limited face-to-face  teachings.

Dry runs will be made weeks before August 24 which is a favoured but still flexible date for school opening.


The entire education sector both private and public and led by the Department of Education (DepEd) including most parents and students,  welcome the signing of Republic Act (RA) 11480 which allows the movement of the opening of classes beyond August during times of emergency.

President Duterte  has signed a new  law RA 11480     which  allows school opening later than August amid state of emergency, calamity due to the covid pandemic .

With the new law, the president, upon the recommendation of the education chief, may determine when schools may open when the state of emergency or calamity is in place.

“The school year shall start on the first Monday of June but not late than the last day of August: Provided, That in the event of a declaration of a state of emergency or state of calamity, the President upon the recommendation of Secretary of Education, may set a different date for the start of the school year in the country or parts thereof,” the new law  RA 11480 read.

The deferred opening of school year applies to basic education schools, including foreign or international schools.

The education secretary will determine the end of the regular school year and may authorize holding of Saturday classes for elementary and secondary levels for public and private schools.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones however,  maintained that the August 24 opening of classes still stands.

President Duterte signed  RA 11480 which amended RA 7797 mandating the Secretary of Education to recommend to the Chief Executive adjustments in the school calendar in “times of national emergency.”

RA No. 11480 amends RA 7797, also known as “An Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from Two Hundred (200) Days to Not More Than Two Hundred Twenty (220) Class Days,” which states that the opening of classes should be between the first Monday of June to the last day of August.

The DepEd “has been consulted and has conferred” with the President and the legislators throughout the process. DepEd thru the provincial and city superintendent of schools will issue corresponding implementing rules and regulations soonest as required by the law

DepEd also acknowledged the  senators and members of the House of Representatives for the “quick and timely passage of the law.”

Meanwhile, DepEd maintained that the “last approved date of the President is Aug. 24” on the opening of school year 2020-2021.

DepEd added that this “can only be changed upon the recommendation of the Secretary to the President” after “consultations with relevant stakeholders” are made and the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) has been drafted as part of the requisites cited in Section 2 of RA 11480.

To repeat  public and  private  schools may now open even  later than August if the state of calamity or emergency has been declared over the country, or parts of it.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11480 on July 17 that amends RA 7797 or the “Act to Lengthen the School Calendar from 200 Days to Not More Than Two 220 Class Days.”

The old law RA 7797 used to be  that school year may start the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August. But It is now amended by RA 11480

A copy of the new law was made public only on Monday. It will take effect 15 days from publication in the Official Gazette or newspaper.