Education Secretary Leonor Briones said Friday that private schools that have opened their respective school years may continue holding classes even if the Aug.24 school opening has been moved to Oct.5.
Briones, in a virtual press briefing, explained that the decision of President Duterte to defer school opening applies to both public and private schools in the basic education level.
However, she clarified that private schools that have started offering classes may be allowed to continue their activities and operations.
“Usually, these private schools are attached colleges and locally-established universities and the CHED (Commission on Higher Education) already said that they are not affected by the law on school openings because they are in higher education although they have basic education units,” Briones said.
Some schools, Briones said, have already started their classes. “A school in Siquijor started classes in June and I believe, with the help of the local government, they are doing well,” she explained. “Sayang naman kung pipigilan natin sila (It’s such a waste if we are to stop them),” she added.
Data showed that as of Aug. 5, there are 1, 277 private schools that have started their operations before the Aug. 24 school opening. Region 4-A (Calabarzon) has the biggest number of schools that have started operations with 402, followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 243, and Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 127.
Data also showed that there are 2, 195 private schools that are scheduled to start their classes on Aug. 24; 26 schools before the first week of September; 15 schools on the first week of September, and at least 75 schools without definite date yet.
Briones said schools that offer basic education under higher education will not be affected by the movement of classes. “We respect that and there are schools that that have started in June but there are also constraints — especially those under the MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) like Metro Manila,” she explained.
In schools under MECQ, Briones said, there is a challenge to implement learning continuity as planned.
“There are limitations and the capacity to work and to produce is vastly affected and reduced,” she explained. “Be as it may, it is a challenge to the department and we seek your understanding,” she added.