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DepEd's Briones firm on August 24 class opening amid opposition from teachers’ groups

The Department of Education (DepEd) said Monday it will pursue the opening of classes on August 24 despite opposition from groups of teachers.

In a press conference, DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones commented to the action of the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) that lobbied Congress for the postponement of class opening.

“Napaka-active ng mga organization na ito. Makikita mo naman ‘yung reaction nila. Hahatsing ang DepEd, may reaction kaagad. So, alam naman namin ‘yung mga reaction nila,” Briones said.

“Ang pagbubukas ng eskuwelahan ay August 24. Ito ay blended learning. Walang face to face. At sa mga lugar na may risk assessment galing sa IATF, susundin natin ang kanilang patakaran,” she added.

On Saturday, TDC said it asked the help of the chairpersons of Congress’ basic education committees about its proposed postponement of class opening.

“Our requests for dialogues were ignored many times. Thus, we turn to the Congress to air our grievances. We believe they will listen to us,” TDC national chairperson Benjo Basas said.

Basas said that  Pasig Representative Roman Romulo, chairperson of the House basic education committee, granted the request for a meeting and set the virtual conference on Monday.

He added that the office of Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Senate basic education committee chair, already acknowledged their letter.

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines on Saturday slammed DepEd on its claimed support for teaching and non-teaching staff amid the pandemic.

“Nothing can better attest to DepEd’s neglect of its constituents than the still unsafe conditions for the August 24 school opening and the wanting requisites for the employment of the government’s learning continuity plan,” ACT secretary general Raymond Basilio said.

“Simply put, the overall unpreparedness of the agency to safely and optimally resume formal classes in two weeks prove how big of a failure DepEd was in supporting its own machinery in the implementation of its plans,” he added.

Briones said the dialogue with the concerned groups is still ongoing.

Amid these calls, the DepEd held a kick-off program on Monday for the opening of classes with presentations on the readiness of schools for the blended learning approach.—AOL, GMA News