School opening preparations continue, says DepEd

Education Secretary Leonor Briones said that school opening preparations as well as other related activities will continue even if the scheduled school opening on Aug. 24 was postponed and was moved to Oct. 5.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Briones said that the teachers and students will continue the school opening activities scheduled for them while waiting for the formal opening of classes in October particularly in areas where the Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) is not enforced.

“Areas outside MECQ are directed to continue their orientations, dry runs, and delivery of learning resources so that we will be ready for the opening of classes on Oct. 5,” Briones said. “We will go through what we have practiced in the simulations and we will keep in touch with the children,” she added.

In the previous months, Briones shared that she has been “talking to many children” to ask about their school opening concerns. “I’ve talked to many children, those who are old enough to use (gadgets) and email, because if they will be asked, the children really want to attend classes,” she said.

Despite the implications of the latest development on school opening, Briones said “we will continue what we have been doing but we’re not going to formalize it yet because (formal classes) will start on Oct. 5.”

Currently, Briones said that there are schools that have started their school year and they will be allowed to continue. For schools that are affected by the Aug. 24 school opening postponement, she assured that the students and teachers will continue their preparations.

“There are places where there’s zero COVID and areas with low risk assessment, so we go through the process of orientation -- among others,” Briones explained. “We will continue but not necessarily formalized so when the formal school begins, they will be completely ready,” she added.

Among the scheduled activities for both students and teachers is the psychosocial sessions to prepare them to the new approach to teaching and learning. 

“Its not as if the teachers, the children and the staff will be doing nothing,” Briones said. “These activities will still continue so we will be better prepared and if there will be glitches, challenges or areas that should be improved --these will be done before school opening,” she noted.

 DepEd Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio said that “we will push for an extended school year.” While the postponement of school opening will affect the school calendar, he noted that this “gives us more time to intensify preparation and quality assurance of learning resources.”

  Briones said that concerned DepEd officials will meet and decide on how to adjust the school calendar. 

“We have to make the necessary adjustments as they occur especially on the matter of the assessment of the students,” she said. “We will also be hoping and praying that there will be improvements in the health situation because all these decisions are based on what is happening right now,” she added.