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Private schools seek exemption from October 5 class opening

The Coordinating Council of Private Educational Association of the Philippines (COCOPEA) on Friday asked the Department of Education (DepEd) to exclude private schools from the October 5 opening of classes.

“Ang ating stand diyan, dapat hindi tayo kasama dahil, actually, marami naman nag-bukas na ng kanilang schools even before this announcement was made,” COCOPEA Managing Director Joseph Noel Estrada said in an interview on Dobol B sa News TV.

Estrada said that private schools were prepared and some had started classes in July.

“So ‘yun ang aming apila and we’re making that clarification as of the moment. But we’re also hoping na i-allow kasi magulo na masyado kung biglang puputulin ito, lalong-lalo na sa amin sa private schools,” he said.

The managing director said he believed that the heart of the matter was whether or not public schools were prepared to open.

“Kasi I think the issue now is really readiness. Hindi na ito health issue, readiness issue na ito. Dahil hindi naman pinaguusapan ang physical na pag-babalik sa eskwelahan,” he said.

“Ever since March ang pinaguusapan natin ay distance learning at lahat tayo ay nag-prepare doon,” he added.

COCOPEA was also willing to help public schools, according to Estrada.

“Kung anong kailangan nila para maging ready na sila at para hindi na lalong ma-delay ‘yung kanilang school opening,” he said.

Meanwhile, DepEd undersecretary Disodasdo San Antonio said that they will still discuss the inclusion of private schools in the class opening order.

“Ngayon po paguusapan po namin… gagawin namin very clear kung ano ‘yung tamang interpretation. Kasi ang tingin po namin, ako po personally, although hindi pa ito binding sa lahat, katulad din ng dati ang private schools po ay may kalayaan mamili ng mga petsa nila kung kailan sila mag-sisimula,” he said.

“Pero aalamin pa namin kasi hindi naman po ako abogado. Kailanga po ‘yung mga abogado sa team namin ang mag-papaliwanag sa amin kung tama ba itong interpretasyon na katulad ko,” he added.

The DepEd announced that President Rodrigo Duterte had approved its recommendation to move the opening of School Year 2020-2021 from August 24 to October 5 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. — DVM GMA News