Class opening not a ‘complete victory’ – Gatchalian

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the opening of classes in public school yesterday was not a complete victory as teachers and students struggle to conduct online classes due to slow internet connection.

“I cannot claim complete victory yesterday because if you at the standpoint of parents and teachers, the lack of internet connectivity became the stumbling block,” Gatchalian, chair of the Senate basic education committee, said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel on Tuesday.

“In Valenzuela, we launched our own streaming school, but without internet connectivity, it’s very difficult to deliver that all the way to the homes of our constituents, so I can only say it’s a partial victory insofar as class opening is concerned,” he added.

Education Secretary said during the opening of the school year 2020-2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic is a victory.

“We declare our victory over COVID 19–the Destroyer of our lives and Destroyer of our economy and our society. But we will not allow COVID-19 to destroy our ’s education and their future,” she said.

“Today, we open our schools. Today, we claim victory over the destroyer (COVID 19). Let our classes begin!” the DepEd Secretary added.

Class opening, not a ‘complete victory’ – Gatchalian

Senator Gatchalian also urged the telecommunications companies to “step up” and improve their internet connection services.

“The telcos should step up. It’s now in the hands of our telcos to step up and to make sure that connectivity is available to all of our students…We have to use all tools available, and I’m looking at the point of view of our parents and students, and I’ve seen first hand that connectivity is a problem,” the senator said.

“This is an eye-opener for us, moving forward because if you want to step in into the new normal or the better normal, we have to improve connectivity,” he added.

 Undersecretary Jess Mateo said the DepEd received around 16,000 concerns regarding the first day of public school classes nationwide.

Mateo said during the School Opening Day National Program that the majority of the reports are related to enrollment, such as the process for transferring a student from private to a public school.