September class opening another option — DepEd

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 6) — Education officials are considering opening classes for the next school year sometime in September.

"Ang io-offer namin na isang option — within September. Although sa level pa lang ito ng aming strat, ang idea namin hindi pa final," Department of Education Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio told CNN Philippines on Thursday.

[Translation: What we are offering is one option — within September. Although this is still wiithin the strategy group, and the decision is not yet final.]

San Antonio said only President Rodrigo Duterte can make the final decision on class openings and the September resumption would depend on whether he thinks students and teachers need more time for rest.

The DepEd initially proposed classes to begin by Aug. 23. If this pushes through, summer vacation will be cut short to six weeks instead of the usual eight.

The current academic school year will end on July 10.

"Bakit kailangan magbukas tayo kaagad? Huling-huli na po tayo. Alam naman natin mababa tayo sa international large scale assessment. Hindi pwedeng ugali ng huling naghahabol ‘yung pahinga nang pahinga," San Antonio said.

[Translation: Why should we open immediately? We are extremely delayed. We know that we ranked low in the international large scale assessment. Laggards should not be resting when they need to catch up.]

Preparations ongoing

In preparation for the next school year, San Antonio said they are now taking inventory of available resource materials or printed modules.

Learning materials distributed to millions of public school students who lack access to gadgets and the internet will be reused in the next school year.

Materials damaged by typhoons and those found to contain grammatical or factual errors will have to be replaced.

Public school students are supposed to return the modules to their teachers when they pick up new materials for the next lesson.

San Antonio believes the next school year will run smoothly as stakeholders have adjusted to distance learning.

"Ang nakikita namin marami naman ‘yung sabi ng teacher proficient ang bata. Generally, while maraming hamon, nairaraos naman ‘yung ating pagpapatuto sa mga bata," San Antonio explained.

[Translation: What we see is that a lot of teachers are saying the children are proficient. While there were a lot of challenges, we managed to educate the children.]

Meanwhile, the DepEd is still pushing for limited face-to-face classes in areas consistently categorized as low risk for COVID-19.

But it would also be up to the President if this will be allowed this year.