By Helen Castaño | 09:38 PM August 14, 2020
For teachers, the postponement of the opening of classes from August 24 to October was a relief.
At Dr. Cecilio Putong National High School (DCPNHS) in Tagbilaran City, teachers and school officials cited the need for more time to prepare the subject modules.
“When we received the news everyone felt relieved. Why? Honestly, our school is not yet ready because not all modules of the subjects we are going to handle are ready for distribution,” Grade 7 teacher Jeycelle Espejo-Inting.
Inting said there are still students who have not yet enrolled.
“We will have enough time to prepare for the upcoming class which is all new to all of us. It’s like testing the water trying to find out what are the best ways for this new norm in our educational system,” Espejo said.
She said October 5 would be enough.
School principal Maurine Castaño said that DCPNHS has 7,760 learners from Grade 7 to 12.
Most of these enrolees were transferees from private schools.
She said the Oct. 5 opening of classes would give them ample time to finish the printing of the modules for distribution and
Castaño said teachers would have time to reach out for those who have enrolled and have not yet attended the orientation on the new learning delivery modality.
President Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Department of Education (DepEd) to postpone for the last time the opening of classes from Aug. 24 to Oct. 5.
“We will have enough time to prepare for the upcoming class which is all new to all of us. It’s like testing the water trying to find out what are the best ways for this new norm in our educational system,” Grade 7 teacher Jeycelle Espejo-Inting.
The Department of Education cited the need for more time to prepare, especially in areas placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) this month in coming up with the decision.
On Friday, Aug. 14, Education Secretary Leonor Briones announced the President’s decision to postpone the opening of classes, and that no face-to-face classes will be conducted when schools reopen on Oct. 5.
“Sessions will not be limited to online sessions alone,” Briones said. “This is because we have adopted a policy of blended learning wherein various modalities are being recommended depending of the situation at the level of the region and the school.”
In making the decision, Briones cited the recently enacted Republic Act No. 11480, which allows the President – upon the recommendation of the education secretary – to set a different date for the opening of classes when the country is under the state of calamity or emergency.
Over the past week, Briones and other DepEd officials maintained that schools are ready to proceed with the original schedule for the opening of classes.
But it turns out that the agency itself has made the recommendation for the postponement as early as Aug. 6.
“I submitted to him a policy analysis of the implications of the imposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and in the provinces of Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal,” Briones said in a hastily called press briefing on Friday.
“We shall use the deferment, which the President has decided upon, to provide relief to the logistical limitations faced by the areas placed under MECQ and to fill in the remaining gaps of the school opening that we are currently addressing,” she added.
Briones said the postponement covers both public and private elementary and high schools, except those that are affiliated or attached to colleges and universities.
Private schools that have already started classes can also proceed with the school year, with the secretary saying it would be difficult to stop them especially since the learning process has already begun.
She reminded them to follow policies and health protocols, including the restrictions on physical classes and the additional rules in areas under MECQ.
For standalone private schools that have yet to start their school year, Briones said they want them to comply with the regulations of the agency.
“On the postponement, private schools are under the umbrella also of the Department of Education insofar as basic education is concerned,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“But they also have their own operations manuals and activities, which they also comply with… We want the to generally comply with DepEd regulations,” she added.