By Junex Doronio
SHORT OF SAYING THAT IT IS IMPRACTICAL, both the Department of Education (DepEd) and Malacañang have dismissed calls from various groups for an academic freeze as the country is still reeling from the onslaught of successive typhoons.
The Makabayan bloc lawmakers in the House of Representatives and their ideological rival Bukluran ng Manggawang Pilipino have set aside their differences and urged the DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to heed clamors for a national academic break citing that the typhoons claimed at least 100 lives, damaged around P25 billion-worth of devastation and even affected the telecommunications system.
“We demand the immediate declaration of a national academic break in light of recent calamities and in consideration of the physical and mental well-being of students, teachers, and their families, especially those extremely affected by the typhoons’ onslaught,” they said in the resolution.
But in an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday, CHEd Chairman Prospero de Vera argued against a unilateral policy on the academic breaks, saying school authorities “are in the best situation to decide” on the matter.
Over Super Radyo dzBB, Education Undersecretary Tonisito Umali also said that while the department understood the clamor of several groups for an academic break following the successive storms that hit the country, there is a required number of days in the school calendar according to the law.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque noted that the primary mode of instruction in public schools currently makes use of learning modules.
“Hindi po masyadong naapekto[han ito] dahil wala pong face-to-face classes sa lahat ng ating mga eskuwelahan,” he told reporters. (AI/MTVN)