DepEd says preps for August 24 school opening on track, nixes further delay

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 25) — One month from the scheduled official school opening, education officials have expressed confidence anew that all preparations are on track.

Some students and teachers groups wanted the Department of Education to move the opening to later this year or early next year, as teachers and students are reportedly not ready for blended learning.

But the DepEd sees no reason for any further delay.

"According to our timeline, everything is on track. So we are really confident na by August 24, yung mga (the) needs so that we can deliver basic education services would be really available sa mga paaralan (in schools)," DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio told CNN Philippines in a phone interview on Saturday.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed into a law a measure that allows him to move or reschedule the school opening beyond August during times of calamity.

Despite complaints from some stakeholders, the DepEd said most teachers, students, and even parents want schools to open by August.

"The dry runs are going on in the different field units, wala naman kami namomonitor na serious constraints o challenges na hindi nagawaan ng paraan," San Antonio said.

[Translation: We have not monitored any serious constraints or challenges that have not been addressed.]

Over 22 million students, from kinder to high school levels, have so far enrolled for the coming school year.

Most are registered in public schools nationwide at 20.7 million.

San Antonio said most of these students prefer modular, whether digital or printed, as their mode of learning delivery.

School divisions are currently facilitating the reproduction of modules or lessons to be used in the schoolyear's first quarter.

The DepEd is relying on the word of regional officers that all needed modules will be done and ready for distribution by school opening.

"It's more complicated 'pag centralized kasi ang laki laki ng i-po-produce mo (because of the high volume of modules that you need to produce), may logistics pa sa (in) delivery at lahat so we decided that the first quarter modules would be essentially reproduced at the field units,” San Antonio explained.

Due to safety concerns, education officials are implementing distance learning as an alternative to physical classes.

The new system delivers lesson in various ways including online, television, radio, and printed lessons or learning materials.