Class opening postponement cited

Sen. Joel Villanueva lauded the government's decision to defer the opening of classes from Aug. 24 to Oct. 5.

Sen. Joel Villanueva (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Villanueva said he supports the Department of Education (DepEd) in recommending the postponement of the school opening following the reimposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine and increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

President Duterte approved this recommendation by Education Secretary Leonor Briones.

"We fully support DepEd’s decision to move the opening of classes to October. This is precisely why we pushed for the passage of Republic Act No. 11480, which gives the Secretary of Education more leeway to adjust the school calendar as necessary," Villanueva, one of the authors of the law, said in a statement.

Recalling a recent Senate hearing, Villanueva expressed concern that the DepEd, should it push through with the scheduled school opening this month, will not be be able to smoothly implement its alternative delivery modes.

"All the updates that DepEd reported to the Senate Committee on Basic Education early this week point to the postponement of the opening of classes," he said.

"We know that it is a hard decision for Secretary Liling Briones, given her determination to start the classes as scheduled in order to keep the students learning. We commend her for considering the welfare of our students and teachers in arriving at the decision," he added.

Meanwhile, he urged the DepEd to also provide flexibility for schools that have already begun their classes.

"If there are no significant setbacks or hindrances in terms of their classes, the department should let them proceed," he said.