After so much publicity from the Department of Education that they are prepared for the August 24 opening of classes, the truth has finally come to light. Amid the actual reports of school opening woes, the DepEd finally recognized that the Philippines is far from prepared for the school opening this month.
The adjustment of the school opening from August 24 to October 5 is the Duterte Administration’s confession that we are grossly unprepared to start a new academic year. This is also a testament to how the government is performing their duty in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kabataan Partylist had already raised our criticism on the statement of the Department of Health that we are ready to start a new academic year. More than 6 million students have yet to enroll, teachers and students don’t have gadgets and internet access, and the modules are still not 100% printed. Moreover, parents still have to contend with the prospect of teaching their children under the modular learning scheme. We ask DepED, how ready are we if these concerns are not yet answered? And what are your concrete steps and programs to address these?
Clearly, the education adjustment program of our government is anti-poor, anti-student and anti-teacher. It does not cater to the needs of the main stakeholders of the schools.
For six months now, the youth and the people have long been calling for a comprehensive, health-based, and pro-people pandemic response but the Duterte administration seems deaf to our calls. With the COVID-19 cases increasing everyday, our government should wake up and heed the call of the people.
Kabataan Partylist asserts that we need a safe, accessible and quality education amid the pandemic. Education is a right and the government should ensure that everyone will be able to continue their studies especially amid the pandemic.###
August 14, 2020