Malacañang said that the re-scheduling of the opening of schools to October 5 will give the Department of Education (DepEd) more time to ensure the smooth opening of classes.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after President Duterte approved the DepEd’s recommendation to move the date of opening of elementary and high school classes from August 24 to October 5.
In a virtual press briefing on Saturday, Roque expressed confidence that the DepEd shall undertake all of the necessary preparations to make sure that the opening of the Academic Year 2020-2021 will be seamless.
“Lahat naman po ng preparasyon ay ginagawa ng DepEd (DepEd is doing all kinds of preparation),” he said.
“Dahil na-postpone po ang pagbubukas ng pasok sa Oktubre, ibig sabihin mas maraming panahon pa ang pwedeng magugol ng Deped para masiguro na seamless ang pagbubukas ng ating klase (Because the opening of classes was moved to October, it means DepEd will have more time to ensure the seamless opening of classes),” he added.
Roque said this will also give DepEd time to release the budget for modular learning so that schools will not have to ask for donations of printing materials.
Some schools were reportedly asking for donations like bond paper and printers so they could produce the modules that will be used by the students in the incoming school year.
According to Roque, schools may have resorted to asking for donations because of time constraints.
“Naniniwala po ako na merong budget po para sa mga modules at kaya siguro humihingi ng donasyon kasi medyo papalapit na yung orihinal na pagbubukas ng pasok na (sa ika-) 24 ng Agosto (I believe that the DepEd has a budget for the modules. Perhaps the schools were asking for donations because the original opening of classes on August 24 was drawing near),” he said.
“Pero ngayong na-move na po sa Oktubre, siguro meron naman pong sapat na panahon para ipaikot ng DepEd ang budget para sa modular learning (But now that the opening of classes is moved to October, I think DepEd will now have the time to release the budget for modular learning),” he added.
According to Roque, President Duterte’s decision was based on the recommendation of the DepEd, in response to the implications of the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said on Friday that the deferment of the school opening applies to both public and private elementary and high schools. However, private schools that have started to conduct online classes can proceed, subject to present health protocols following the declared quarantine classification in their respective areas.