DepEd reports it is ready for the school opening on Oct. 5

As various quarters continue to question the readiness of the Department of Education (DepEd) for the Oct. 5 school opening, Education Secretary Leonor Briones reminded everyone that readiness is “relative.”

School opening amid a pandemic, Briones said, is a huge challenge not only in the Philippines but also the rest of the world. “But if you wait until you’re absolutely ready, by the time we feel we have certain problems under control, there will be new challenges,” she said in a recent virtual press conference.

As it inches forward to the school opening, DepEd has been getting school readiness updates from the regions and divisions on a regular basis, the education secretary said.

 “Every day there is good news, every day there is something new,” she said. Despite this, she noted that 100 percent readiness cannot always be guaranteed. “You can never be ready and by the time that you’re ready, other challenges will emerge,” she added.

Citing recent reports from the ground, Briones said that preparations for the Oct. 5 school opening are in full swing. “In our criteria, we’re ready,” she said. “We might not be ready in the eyes of others but we are ready based on our criteria,” she added.

Meanwhile, DepEd said it will make the necessary adjustments when it comes to student assessment and evaluation this school year.

Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio, during the Sept. 14 virtual press briefing, said that there are proposed changes and adjustments when it comes to assessing and evaluating the performance of students.

“We are dispensing periodical exams on our proposed assessment,” San Antonio said. “We will do written outputs and performance tasks,” he added. DepEd is also pushing to ensure that the assessment tools and activities will be flexible for children, holistic and essential learning.

Since the learning of the students will essentially happen at home -- under the guidance and supervision of parents and other adults -- concerns are being raised on the quality and credibility of the output that the learners will produce.

Briones expressed optimism that instances of “distance cheating” will be monitored and prevented. “Teachers who have the experience would be able to tell if a homework or a project is done by the parent or by the child or she/his teammates have done it themselves,” she said.