Briones declares ‘victory’ over COVID-19 on first day of classes

Published October 5, 2020, 10:51 AM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday officially declared the opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2020-2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones

During the National School Opening Day Program, Briones welcomed the school year by delivering a “victory” speech.

“Today, we celebrate a great victory! We declare our victory over COVID 19–the Destroyer of our lives and Destroyer of our economy and of our society but we will not allow COVID-19 to destroy our children’s education and their future!” she said.

Briones noted that there are 24,753,906 students enrolled in both public and private schools this year. She added that the school opening amid the pandemic was made possible through the support from nearly 50 million parents and other significant adults and 866,512 teachers, division superintendents, district supervisors, heads of schools, regional officials and central office executives.

On behalf of the DepEd, Briones thanked “all who have stood by our side and supported all our efforts” including President Duterte, members of the Cabinet, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office “helped us communicate developments and decisions to the public.”

Briones also thanked both Houses of Congress for raising “important policy issues and gave us very wise advice.” She also cited the support of local government units, civil society organizations – among others.

“With such a huge army of supporters and benefactors, victory is assured for education, COVID-19 notwithstanding,” Briones said.

As of Oct. 4, DepEd said that the 24.75 million enrollees comprises 89.13% of SY 2019-2020 enrollment. There are 22.52 million students enrolled in public schools nationwide or 99.79% of last school year’s enrollment. In private schools, there are 2.17 enrollees of 50.48% of the SY 2019-2020 enrollment.