DESPITE the continuing threat of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in Davao City, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio encourages schools to push through with the opening of classes this year through home school and distant learning.

Duterte-Carpio made her statement on Tuesday, May 5, the day Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced that the school year 2020 to 2021 will open on August 24 - physically or virtually depending on the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic by then.

The mayor said based on her recent communication to Department of Education-Davao Region (DepEd-Davao) assistant director Maria Ines Asuncion, the opening of classes will not be in a physical setting.

“While the opening of the classes will generally start in August, we will not allow students and teachers to report to the school. We will implement the online, offline, and homeschooling program,” Duterte-Carpio said, quoting the online message of Asuncion in a radio interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

The mayor said teachers will be required to report to their respective schools in June for the orientation on the new modalities.

Meanwhile, she said DepEd-Davao is currently conducting the quality assurance check on the distant learning module that the Davao City Division launched in December 2019.

The mayor said the module will be produced to schools in far-flung areas, while those with internet access will have their classes online.

However, through a letter forwarded, the mayor said that some private schools and universities manifested to open their classes in June.

The mayor said, “face-to-face classes” are still prohibited. In a previous report, she said that these are still forms of mass gathering, which might be vulnerable for viral transmission.

Duterte-Carpio said classes should still resume, despite the ongoing threat of Covid-19.

“Because if we continue to delay the start of classes, due to the unstable situation of Covid-19, dili gyud maka-start ang mga bata og school, so dapat i-implement ang home school and distant learning (our students cannot start with their schooling, so we need to implement it through means of home school and distant learning),” she said.