President Rodrigo Roa Duterte shares a light moment with Education Secretary Leonor Briones and Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez on the sidelines of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa opening ceremony at the Davao City-UP Sports Complex on April 28, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The re-scheduling of the opening of School Year (SY) 2020-2021 to Oct. 5 will give the Department of Education (DepEd) more time to prepare for the opening of classes, Malacañang said.

“Dahil na-postpone ang pagbubukas ng pasok sa Oktubre, ibig sabihin mas maraming panahon pa ang pupuwedeng magugol ng ating DepEd para masiguro na seamless ang pagbubukas ng ating klase,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, 10 days before the scheduled Aug. 24 opening, approved the postponement.

In a statement, Malacañang explained that the decision was based on DepEd’s recommendation, in response to the reimposition of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

“Per DepEd, the deferment shall apply to both public and private schools. However, for private schools which have started to conduct online classes they shall proceed holding classes, subject to present health protocols following the declared quarantine classification in their respective areas,” Roque said.

The rescheduling will also ensure the availability of printed modules and allow DepEd to recalibrate its budget for modular learning.

“Naniniwala po ako na mayroong budget po para sa mga modules at kaya siguro humingi ng donasyon kasi medyo papalapit na iyong orihinal na pagbubukas ng pasok na beinte kuwatro sana ng Agosto,” Roque said in reaction to reports on public schools asking for donations to provide modules to students. 

“Pero ngayong na-move na po sa Oktubre, siguro mayroon namang sapat na panahon para ipaikot ng DepEd iyong budget para sa modular learning,” he said.

As of Aug. 15, 23,289,539 students have enrolled nationwide. John Ezekiel J. Hirro