The Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division Office (SDO) Palawan has recommended the August opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021

Grace Estefano, division information officer of the SDO, said Saturday that their recommendation is under the leadership of Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Natividad Bayubay.

“As far as the DepEd Palawan is concerned, ang aming recommendation, through SDS Natividad Bayubay, ay ang opening ng classes ay August 2020 considering the recommendation of the medical experts and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF),” she said.

Estefano said they have already submitted the recommendation to the DepEd in the region after considering the need to prepare the schools, the finances of the families of the learners, and to also give enough time for the government to look for solutions to ensure that classes will be safe and will not compromise some important factors.

Estefano said these are:

1. Enough time to decontaminate, disinfect, and prepare all schools before the opening of classes.

2. Financial recovery of the majority of the parents before the opening of classes since many are affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that has also been extended. Although public schools require no fees, the expenses in school supplies, transportation, and food allowance will be hard for the learners.

3. Delay in the opening of classes will also give the DepEd, and the national and local governments to work out solutions that pertain to how the learners will attend school without compromising the quality of learning, health, and security despite the impacts of COVID-19.

She said if the DepEd will hurry the opening of classes in June, readiness will be a serious issue.

“DepEd Palawan is carefully reviewing the pros and cons of opening the classes in June, and if we hurry, the most serious issue we will face is readiness,” she said.

She also said they need to come up with appropriate interventions to ensure that all will be smooth and safe.

Chances, if the opening of classes will push through in June, will also be great for low participation due to the economic circumstances of the learners, poor academic performance due to absenteeism, and high dropout rate due to possible COVID-19 transmission.

Based on these reasons, Estefano said that the SDO has also attached a continuity plan intended for the learners and teachers.

Included in this plan is the bridging the gap for Grade 6 and 10 completers; provision of technical assistance to schools in identifying non-mastered competencies; strengthening division campaign on the use of DepEd commons and downloadable self-instructional materials; implementation of Project CALL (Continuing Advancement for Lifelong Learning); monitoring of the conduct of the school In-Service Training (Inset) and partnering with service providers for the webinars and online courses for teachers

Estefano also said that the division’s main concern in recommending the August opening of classes is the safety of the learners as well as the teachers who will be with them.

“Ang priority natin ay ang safety ng mga bata at ganoon din sa mga teachers na nakakasalamuha ng mga bata. Minsan lang mabuhay, hindi pupwedeng i-rewind, kaya ang priority natin ay ang kaligtasan nila,” she said.

Meanwhile, Estefano said the education department is also running an online survey to get the public’s consensus on the possible opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021.

The survey may be accessed by the public through a DepEd Philippines shared link on the Facebook page of the Schools Division Office (SDO) Palawan.

DepEd is encouraging its stakeholders to participate in the online query to collect data for the analysis of when classes for the next school year.

“Hinihikayat po natin ang lahat ng maaapektuhan ng pagbubukas ng SY 2020-2021 na maging parte at makilahok sa ginagawang survey ng DepEd on the opening of classes. Sa mga katanungan doon, ang nga hinaing at saloobin ng ating mga direct stakeholder ng DepEd ay maibibigay nila. Ito ay isang paraan para magkaroon ng direktang konsultasyon sa atin pong mga stakeholders,” she said.

Estefano said the survey will run until Tuesday, April 21. Its result will be discussed by the DepEd in the next meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Participate through the following links: or

If experiencing troubles, the following links may be used.

1) Link 2:

2) Link 3:

3) Link 4:

4) Link 5:

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Jayra Joyce Cañete Taboada handles the law and order and the science and education beats. She is also a licensed professional teacher.