Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Tuesday said that the country can no longer afford another school opening postponement due to the short and long-term consequences of prolonged interruptions in education – both on the children and the system as a whole.
All public schools are scheduled to open next week, Oct. 5. Briones said that this is the date that President Duterte has chosen himself. “We gave him three choices – Aug. 24, Sept. 7, and Oct. 5 – and the latest date was the one he has chosen,” Briones told Manila Bulletin in a phone interview.
As a response to the calls to postpone the school opening anew, Briones said that DepEd has been preparing for its learning continuity plan as early as April. “In Southeast Asia, other countries have already opened schools – we’re the last one to open in October,” she said.
In less than six months, Briones cited how the DepEd overhauled the system just to ensure that the education of millions of Filipino children will continue. “It’s not just about what other countries do, it’s about what the children are missing,” she added.
The months-long disruption in children’s education, Briones said, already has a negative impact on their overall growth – noting that students might “lose interest in studying if we continue to delay the school opening.”