The Department of Education has released the official calendar and activities for the school year 2020-2021, now slated to begin in August instead of the traditional June opening of classes.

Department Order no. 007, s. 2020 dated May 11 marked the opening of classes on August 24 and will close on April 30, 2021. The department order was also posted in the Facebook page ‘DepEd Philippines.”

“After intensive consultations and upon the approval of the IATF, DepEd announced the opening of SY 2020-2021 on August 24, 2020. The school year will end on April 30, 2021 with a total of 203 class days,” the order stated.

The order outlined changes in the teaching methods of schools and the adoption of practices that are in line with existing health safety measures prescribed by the national government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said that moving the schedule 3 months from its original opening, will also help the department to prepare for the “challenging” school year.

“The push back in the formal school opening by nearly three months from the traditional opening on the first Monday of June, is intended to afford DepEd enough time
to undertake the necessary preparations in what will be an extraordinarily challenging school year,” it stated.

Step back from face-to-face learning

The order outlined that face-to-face classes will no longer be the norm and that it will depend on the guidelines that will come from the Department of Health (DOH) and IATF.

“School opening will not necessarily mean traditional face-to-face learning in classroom. The physical opening of schools will depend on the risk, severity, grading or classification of a locality, pursuant to guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH), the the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Philippines (IATF), or the Office of the President (OP). Even in areas where schools are allowed to open, physical distancing will still be required, which will necessitate schools to combine face-to-face learning with distance learning,” the order stated.

The following are some of the important points stated in the Order, in relation to school opening:

  • The learning intervention for Alternative Learning System (ALS) shall also formally open on August 24, 2020, while the program duration will depend on the learner’s educational background or existing knowledge level prior to enrolling in the ALS program.
  • Private schools and state/local universities and colleges (SUCs/LUCs) offering basic education will be allowed to open classes within the period authorized by RA 7797,which is on the first Monday of June but not later than the last day of August, Provided: face-to-face classes will be allowed earlier than August 24, 2020, and from then on, face-to-face classes may be conducted only in areas allowed to open physically.
  • Teachers will start rendering service on June 1, 2020, upon completion of summer vacation on May 31, 2020.
  • The school enrollment shall be conducted from June 1–30, 2020.
  • BrigadaEskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela will be undertaken from June 1 to August 29, while the Oplan Kalusugan (OK) sa DepEd will be scheduled in September.
  • The conduct of curricular and co-curricular activities that involve gathering of large number of learners, such as science fairs, showcase of portfolios, trade fairs, schoolsports, campus journalism, festival of talents, job fairs, career orientation, and other similar activities are cancelled for the school year, except for those that can be conducted through online platform.
  • The conduct of activities related to Palarong Pambansa shall be decided separately by the Palarong Pambansa Board.

Grace Estefano, Division Information Officer of Schools Division Office Palawan described the upcoming school year as an ‘extraordinary challenging’ that needs cooperation and support of the community.

“Extraordinary challenging ang pagbubukas ng klase ngayong SY 2020-2021 dulot ng pandemya,” she said.

Both the City Schools Division and Schools Division of Palawan are in the preparation for the the coming school year. Teleconferencing, and webinars are being conducted to ensure that the teachers and personnel are equipped with new teaching tools.

The Department Order shall be disseminated to all the regional offices, division offices and schools around the country for the implementation.

For more information about the Department order no. 7, you may read its content on this link: