Petition to move MASCI school opening to August 2020

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Given the recent and ongoing efforts in the fight against COVID 19, we are respectfully making an appeal to the Department of Education (DepEd) to consider moving the opening of classes to August 2020 for the following reasons:

  1. Considering the trend in other countries like Wuhan, Hubei, China which had to deal with the containment for 4 months before they saw a downward trend in infection, and considering that some local medical experts expect the peak of exposure for the country will be from mid-May to mid-Jun of 2020, the risk of infection will still be high by June 2020. Consequently, the risk of exposure for students remains great should classes conducted in a physical face-to-face setting begin in June 2020.
  2. The School administrators, teachers, students and parents would need more time to set up virtual learning set-ups/ virtual classrooms in order to remain safe in this “new normal”. School administrators and teachers would need to prepare for digital access set ups and plan health measures. Parents and students would need to ensure that each student have consistent access to the internet to be able to attend class. Not all students may have access to computers and internet access. The months of April to July should be enough time for school administrators, teachers, parents and students to come up with the necessary adjustments for implementation when classes formally start;
  3. Considering the proximity of Manila Science campus to several hospitals especially PGH which is the main government designated COVID-19 referral hospital also exposes the students to possible infection. It is expected that by June 2020 these hospitals will still be in full capacity for COVID-19 patients. We do not want our children students to be in harm’s way;
  4. The Enhanced Community Quarantine has affected the livelihoods of many families. Single-headed households / single-parent households are even more affected. Many of us would need time to recover economic losses from ECQ and social healing. Moving the start of the classes to August 2020 would allow parents to also adjust.
  5. There is also a pre-existing decision by the Commission on Higher Education to move the start of the academic year to August in order to adjust to the ASEAN academic school year. Some private elementary schools and private secondary schools have already shifted to August to adapt to the CHED school year. While there are concerns regarding the situation of summer months for public elementary and public secondary schools, there is still time to prepare contingencies for the summer months relative to the current public health concerns.

We respectfully appeal for the Department of Education's its kind consideration.

Photo credits: Manila Science High School

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