Romulo urges DepEd to move opening of classes if not prepared

Photo: Facebook/Roman Romulo

Pasig City and Committee on Basic Education and Culture Rep. Roman Romulo on Thursday has urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to consider moving the opening of classes, as he expressed doubts about the bureau’s readiness.

“Lahat naman tayong Pilipino gusto natin magpatuloy yung edukasyon, pero ang gusto natin ‘yung quality of education ay kasama doon,” said Romulo in a House panel virtual hearing to DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali. “‘Yung totoo talaga, kulang, ano?”

(“All of us Filipinos want education to continue, but what we want is for it to come with quality education. The truth is this is lacking, right?”)

While Romulo noted that he believes DepEd is doing its job, he feels the time is still not sufficient for it to prepare for the opening of the new school year. He feels it is still ill-prepared and asked that it discuss internally and reconsider delaying the start of classes as it will only put the bureau’s efforts to waste.

Romulo also pointed out that as President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11480 in July, it would provide the president with the power to reschedule the beginning of the school year should the country be plunged in a state of emergency or calamity.

“Kaya namin ipinasa ‘yang batas na ‘yan para mayroon kayong pagkakataon para maisaayos,” added Romulo to DepEd. “Baka lang masyadong tight. They can start September or October, ‘yung mas handa lang.”

(“We passed that law to give you an opportunity to get ready. The timing might be too tight. Classes can start in September or October, as long as you are better prepared.”

Classes were earlier disrupted in March as community quarantines were implemented all over the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic. DepEd will be adopting blended learning, which combines the use of television, radio, and the internet as modes of instruction while face-to-face classes will be largely prohibited. Classes are set to formally open on August 24.

During a COVID-19 task force meeting, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones earlier said that public schools in as many as 345 areas have already conducted dry runs in preparation for the formal start of the 2020 to 2021 school year.