House lawmakers urge DepEd to consider moving the schedule of classes

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Students wearing protective masks join a school activity in Manila, Philippines on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak sparked by a new virus in China that has spread to more than a dozen countries a global emergency after the number of cases spiked more than tenfold in a week, including the highest death toll in a 24-hour period reported Friday. Health officials in the country recently confirmed the Philippines’ first case of the new virus. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Members of the House of Representatives are urging the Department of Education (DepEd) to move the schedule of classes resumption as it is not yet ready to effectively roll out its blended learning scheme.

At a House committee hearing on Basic Education and Culture on Thursday, several lawmakers expressed doubts on the quality of DepEd’s blended learning as classes resume on August 24.

Concerns about the lack of funds and equipment for public schools in their respective districts surfaced as they argue the case of their constituents.

Deputy Speaker Evelina Escudero said that teachers in the first district of Sorsogon rely heavily on modular learning since internet connection is not in place in the area. She added that teachers have been asking for support and donations from the private sector when it comes to the printing of the modules.

“If hindi naman ready, baka we can move it until January,” Escudero said.

[If we are not ready, maybe we can move it until January.]

Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali responded by saying that more funding can be expected.

House committee chairman and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo recognized the efforts of DepEd to push for the August classes, but pointed out that more time will help them prepare better.

“Nakikita natin na nagtatrabaho talaga ang DepEd,” he said. “Kaso kahit minsan na nagtatrabaho tayo, talagang kulang pa rin ang panahon.”

[We see that DepEd is really working hard. But sometimes even if we are working, time is really not enough.]

Romulo suggested DepEd to consider House Bill 6895 or the “act to lengthen the school calendar from 200 days to not more than 220 class days,” which was passed in June, to allow school opening beyond August.

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