With the months-long preparation undertaken by the entire Department of Education (DepEd), Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday, Sept. 13, assured that the newly-opened School Year (SY) 2021-2022 will not be a “repeat” of last school year.
“There will be no repetition of the experiences that we had, challenges that we had during the past academic year,” Briones said during the virtual National School Opening Day program.
Briones said this as a response to the concerns raised by the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC).
“As another school year opens today, we reiterate our call to the government, particularly the DepEd, to address the concerns of our teachers as we fear that the upcoming school year might be just a repeat of the previous one,” the group said in its school opening statement.
However, Briones expressed confidence that this school year would “not be a repeat of last year because events do not necessarily repeat themselves.” And if there is anything that is constant, it would be “change.”
‘Successful’ school opening
Through its virtual National School Opening program livestreamed over its official Facebook page, DepEd showcased the “readiness” of schools for the SY 2021-2022 opening.
In her message, Briones said that DepEd was able to open classes in October last year and was able to successfully ended them. “Now we are opening another school year. Isn’t that success worthy of celebration?” she said.
Briones also noted that “amount of effort and hard work the entire Department exerted to keep schools cannot be quantified” – noting how its technical staff lived in bubble arrangements as the department dealt with infections, frequent swabs, isolation, and vaccinations.
“We had to deal with fear and death. We lost drivers, accountants, and clerks as we continued rendering timely and efficient service to our teachers and staff,” Briones said.
To monitor the first day of classes, key officials of the DepEd went to various schools nationwide to personally get updates from local school officials and teachers from the ground on concerns related to the school opening.