Two solons wanted to cancel the supposed opening of classes on August 24, saying the postponement would give parents peace of mind.
Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr. insisted DepEd should cancel the reopening of public and private for the school year 2020-2021 on August 24.
“Kasi pag umalis ang anak mo sa bahay, napakagulo ng isip mo kung ganyan ang sitwasyon. Lalo na kung hindi lang isa, kung lima ang anak mo nasa school, eh napakagulo ng isip mo, hindi ka mapakali . We are saving lives,” he said in a radio interview.
(Because when your child leaves the house, you are worried, with the situation being what it is. Especially if you don’t have just one, but five children in school, you would be anxious, you won’t have peace of mind.)
Gonzales noted those that reopened schools like France and South Korea recorded new COVID-19 cases among students.
“The [French] Education Minister reported that they had recorded 17 new cases of COVID-19 in schools that were allowed to reopen last week,” he said.
The Pampanga 3rd district Representative earlier filed House Resolution No. 876 aimed to suspend the resumption of classes “until and unless a vaccine against COVID-19 has been discovered and included in the Philippine national drug formulary.”
Under DepEd Order No. 007, the school year 2020-2021 begins August 24, 2020, and ends April 30, 2021, consisting of 203 days.
Ong wants to cancel opening of classes on August 24
Ang Probinsyano party-list Rep. Ronnie Ong also asked DepEd to cancel the opening of classes this year, explaining online courses “also unnecessarily gives parents additional financial and emotional burden.”
“Sobrang hirap na ng buhay ng ating mga magulang sa panahon na ito ng COVID pandemic. Halos wala nang makain ang marami sa ating mga magulang dahil walang hanapbuhay habang naka-quarantine,” he said.
(Life is very difficult for parents during this time of the COVID pandemic. Many parents hardly have anything to eat because they have no livelihood under quarantine.)
“DepEd should just postpone the entire school year without any exception. Our policy should apply to all to avoid any confusion. We are unprepared for this crisis,” he added.
Ong also said conducting online classes with no proper preparation “may aggravate the country’s declining quality of education.”
“Walang training ang marami sa ating mga teachers [Many of our teachers don’t have training] to hold online classes. My suggestion is the DepEd should use this time to properly re-tool their teachers and their system to adapt to the so-called new normal,” he said.
Ong also proposed to include public and private school teachers in the government’s social amelioration program (SAP).