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‘Appropriate and humane decision:’ Tolentino thanks Duterte, Briones for resetting school opening to October

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Administration Senator Francis Tolentino hailed the decision of the Executive department to defer the start of the school year from August 24 to October 5 amid public health concerns and alleged lack of preparation for distance learning.

“I thank President (Rodrigo) Duterte and Secretary Briones for the timely postponement of the school opening from August 24,2020 to October 2020, as it addresses the relevant health issues, DepEd preparedness, parents’ livelihoods and other interconnectivity concerns,” said Tolentino.

Upon the instructions of the President, Education Sec. Leonor Briones on Friday heeded the appeal made by members of Congress, as well as other various stakeholders to move the opening of school year 2020-2021 to October 5.

The recently enacted Republic Act No 11480 provides the President the flexibility to move the school opening.

According to Tolentino, “listening to the voices of other sectors especially the parents, teachers and the LGUs paved the way for this appropriate and humane decision.”

Tolentino stressed that the extra days given to the Department of Education “should enable them to prepare more sustainably given the critical situation we are all in.”

Tolentino during Tuesday’s hearing of the Senate committee on basic education urged to delay the scheduled opening of classes on August 23 to October or even a later date, citing not only health and safety concerns of students and teachers but also the supposed public sentiments on the challenges of distance education and on-line learning which the department has yet to adequately address up to this time.

He warned that “forcing schools to open this August will only defeat the purpose of education” due to the fact that “we are not fully ready.”

“The prevailing health, livelihood, and internet connectivity situations should all be considered by Deped,” he said.

The lawmaker expressed concern especially that “modules have yet to be completed,” not to mention the challenges of local government units (LGUs) passed on with the burden of reproducing these modules for learners within their jurisdiction. (JCC)

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