‘Move it if not ready’: Lawmakers urge DepEd to push back opening of classes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — House lawmakers are convinced that the Department of Education (DepEd) is not yet ready to resume classes in August despite the efforts of sleepless and overworked teachers.

At a House committee hearing on Basic Education and Culture on Thursday, several lawmakers expressed doubts on the quality of DepEd’s blended learning as classes resume on August 24.

They raised concerns about the lack of funds and equipment for public schools in their respective districts.

Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero said that teachers in the first district of Sorsogon rely heavily on modular learning since internet connection is not in place in the area. She added that teachers have been asking for support and donations from the private sector when it comes to the printing of the modules.

Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali responded by saying that more funding can be expected.

“If hindi naman ready, baka we can move it until January,” Escudero said.

[Translation: If we are not ready, maybe we can move it until January.]

House committee chairman and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo acknowledged the hard work and efforts of DepEd, but pointed out that more time will help them prepare better.

“Nakikita natin na nagtatrabaho talaga ang DepEd," he said. "Kaso kahit minsan na nagtatrabaho tayo, talagang kulang pa rin ang panahon.”

[Translation: We see that DepEd is really working hard. But sometimes even if we are working, time is really not enough.]

Romulo suggested DepEd to consider House Bill 6895 or the "act to lengthen the school calendar from 200 days to not more than 220 class days," which was passed in June, to allow school opening beyond August.