- Senator Francis Tolentino and Sherwin Gatchalian are urging the Department of Education to move the opening of classes to October instead of August
- Tolentino admitted there are still many concerns to be addressed including the safety of teachers and learners
- Gatchalian agreed and said those under MECQ will still be put at risk even under blended learning
Senator Francis Tolentino and Sherwin Gatchalian urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to reschedule the opening of classes from August to October.
Among the reasons they cited are the concerns raised by teachers’ group and other stakeholders, including the lack of strict health measures to protect the educators and learners.
During the Senate hearing on basic education, arts and culture, Tolentino said we are just not ready to begin classes.
“Forcing schools to open this August will only defeat the purpose of education. Let us accept the fact that we are not fully ready, and it will not be wise, to simultaneously open School Year 2020-2021,” Tolentino was quoted on Manila Bulletin.
Tolentino cited the passing of the new law, Republic Act No. 11480, which allows the education agency to move the opening classes beyond August during crisis or calamity.
“Not only will students’ health and safety be safeguarded, but as well as the welfare of teachers who will be forced to deliver the modules to students’ homes or at the very least report to school for the distribution of modules to parents. I am asking DepEd to prudently adhere with the provisions of RA 11480,” he stressed.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also said that teachers and learners in areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) like Metro Manila are still at risk even if distance learning is implemented.
“My recommendation is kung ang areas ay ma-extend ang MECQ, we should just postpone school opening in those areas because hindi natin puwedeng palakarin ang mga guro natin at mga magulang sa isang kondisyon na lumalala,” Gatchalian said.