Press Release
August 15, 2020

As opening of classes moved to October 5
Nancy to DepEd: If all set, let private schools continue classes on Aug 24
...says public schools have enough time to prepare, iron out kinks

Senator Nancy Binay today asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to issue clear guidelines and direction on how private schools that have already started classes will proceed, and to allow those which are likewise ready to have an option to either start on August 24 or later.

"So as not to interrupt classes in private schools that have already started, it is better to allow them to continue, at kung ready naman ang school na magbukas, DepEd can give them the flexibility to open on or before October," Binay said.

On Friday, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea informed Education Secretary Leonor Briones that the school opening scheduled for Aug. 24 was to be deferred to Oct. 5.

According to DepEd, about 1,277 private schools, including 243 in Metro Manila, have already started classes.

"While we welcome this move from DepEd, we also have to stress that DepEd should use the deferral as an opportunity to iron out any expected challenges in public schools, particularly access to new learning opportunities, before the opening come October 5," Binay said.

Aside from internet connectivity and access to television broadcast, it was revealed during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts and Culture last week that DepEd is having trouble in the delivery of new learning modalities and printing of Self Learning Modules (SLMs) to be used for this school year.

"Not having SLMs available ahead of time for teachers is just adding more pressure and burden to teachers. Ngayong na-move na ang start ng school year, dapat masiguro nila na pulido na ang sistema't setup, pati na ang mga materyales for both teachers and students.

"If this six-week breather can be wisely programmed, then we can expect na kaunti na lang ang mga gusot by October 5, at kahit paano, mayroon nang modules at teaching materials, at pati parents and students handa na rin," Binay said.

It is suggested that prior to opening of classes in public schools, DepEd should conduct a nationwide simulation in all grade school levels to test the new setup, and at the same time address whatever problems that are encountered during the dry run.

"A nationwide simulation is recommended para alam ng estudyante, kasama na ang magulang kung ano ang bagong sistema, at para makapag-adjust din sila. The simulation should also include schools in rural areas and remote barangays that have multi-grade setups," Binay added.

She added that there should be no more excuses for DepEd not to be ready for the start of the adjusted school year since they can adequately prepare for outside-classroom learning following the decision to move the opening of classes to October.

DepEd said it was planning to have at least the first two weeks of SLMs available on August 24 while printing the materials for the succeeding weeks on a rolling basis.

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