Philippines further delays start of school year amid coronavirus surge

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Schools across the country have remained closed since mid-March as part of the nationwide efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. — Courtesy photo
Schools across the country have remained closed since mid-March as part of the nationwide efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. — Courtesy photo

MANILA — The Philippine government delayed on Friday the start of the academic year for another six weeks.

The Presidential Office issued a memorandum to the Education Department to reschedule the opening of classes in both public and private schools for Oct. 5 instead of Aug. 24.

Schools across the country have remained closed since mid-March as part of the nationwide efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The school year traditionally starts in June in the Philippines. But as the government struggled to stem the spread of the virus, education authorities in May pushed its start to August.

According to Education Secretary Leonor Briones, the lockdown measures in the capital Manila and four surrounding provinces have caused "logistical limitations" in preparing for remote schooling.

As the country combats a surge in COVID-19 cases, authorities are preparing to turn classrooms into quarantine facilities.

Meanwhile, the Philippines on Friday reported 6,216 new coronavirus cases and 16 more deaths, taking the total number of confirmed infections and the virus-related fatalities in the country to 153,660 and 2,442 respectively, the country’s health ministry said in a statement.

The Philippines on Monday reported its highest daily rise in confirmed infections at 6,958. — Agencies


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