(File photo)

MANILA – Learners will not be required to wear school uniforms for the coming school year, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday.

In a Viber message, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte said this is to ease the financial burden on families of learners.

She said wearing school uniforms is not even required during the pre-pandemic period, pertaining to DepEd Order (DO) No. 065, s. 2010.

“The wearing of a school uniform shall not be required in public schools. Students with existing uniforms may continue using these uniforms, if they so desire, to avoid incurring additional costs for new attire,” the DO read.

Duterte insisted that the DepEd will be more considerate of this as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic as well as inflationary pressures.

“Even before the pandemic, it was not a strict requirement for public schools to wear uniforms to avoid incurring additional costs to the families of our learners. All the more that it will not be required this School Year given the increasing prices and economic losses due to the pandemic,” she said.

Duterte, meanwhile, maintained her stance that the opening of classes will push through on Aug. 22, when public and private schools have the option to do five-day in-person classes, blended modality, or distance learning.

However, schools nationwide have only until Oct. 31 to prepare for the mandatory face-to-face classes which will start on Nov. 2.

Duterte earlier said the mandatory face-to-face classes intend to address learning loss incurred during the pandemic distance learning setup. (PNA)