The Sangguniang Panlalawigan was unable to act on a resolution appealing to education authorities to move class openings to January 2021 due to lack of consultation with proper offices.
The resolutions requesting the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to consider moving the opening of classes from October 5, 2020, to January 2021 have been referred for further consultation with the local DepEd office.
During their session on Tuesday, members of the Sanggunian held a lengthy discussion on whether to pass three resolutions authored by board member Cherry Pie Acosta appealing to the national DepEd and CHED to move class openings to January 2021.
Detractors pointed out that approving the resolutions need prior support from concerned institutions, particularly the provincial DepEd office and the Western Philippines University (WPU).WPU and Palawan State University (PSU) were both tasked to submit position papers on whether they support moving the opening of classes in 2021.
“I am not against the proposal, but I am also waiting for the decision of the DepEd local if they are amenable to extending [the opening of classes]. And that should be communicated to us, so that will be our basis to pass this resolution,” said board member Albert Rama.
The Sanggunian agreed to wait for WPU’s stance on moving the opening of classes. PSU is no longer required to submit a position paper, as the university already began classes last September 1. Their class opening, however, was marred by Internet troubles when a blackout interfered with their online orientation.
Acosta promised to author a resolution appealing to the national education authorities to move the opening of classes to January 2021. According to Acosta, she believes that schools are not truly ready to open classes in October, despite assurances from local education officials that they are prepared to use the recommended online and printed modular learning methods.
“They presented their data. Sinasabi nila handa sila, pero hindi talaga sila handa,” said Acosta. “There are other reasons to consider this. First consideration is the health and safety of the teachers, parents, students. Second, no stable Internet connection. Third, alam naman natin na araw-araw ang mga blackout.”