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DepEd not closed to idea of school opening in September

File photo of Department of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC.
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - Department of Education Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC keeps repeating that for this year, school opening will definitely be in June and not September.

However, Luistro admitted that some of the country’s biggest institutions like University of the Philippines (UP), Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), De La Salle University (DLSU) and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) are going to make the shift in September in preparation for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration in 2015.

“We at DepEd are not averse to the idea of beginning classes in September but we are not the only stakeholders in decision-making.

"We are not closed to the idea of changing schedule but you have to consider the parents and the children who are most affected if the summer is too hot or there’s storm or powerful typhoon during the rainy season,” said Luistro.

”Consideration must be given also to teachers and other school personnel since they have to be around to provide management and direction for the young ones who might insist on attending their classes due to lack of information.

It’s not that easy, it is not a one-man job in decision-making, particularly if it concerns the safety and lives of thousands of people,” he said.

Luistro said that in a most recent Cabinet meeting with President Benigno Aquino III, the Chief Executive told them education is a delicate and yet very vital matter which leaves no mistakes for the sake of the nation’s future.

”President Aquino told us we should have a wide matrix and extensive survey and discussion nationwide on the subject because usually, we center our talk on what’s the situation in Metro Manila. Provincial situationers should also be fully accounted for to get the majority opinion.

“Anyway, DepEd will meet with the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) and representatives of the Senate and Congress by the end of this month or first week of February,” he said Wednesday evening in a briefing with mediamen.

Luistro also said one factor to be considered is the different school opening of other ASEAN countries.

Classes in Brunei Darussalam, for example, start in January, Cambodia in October, Indonesia in July, Laos PDR in September, Viet Nam in August, Thailand in May and Myanmar and the Philippines in June, which means student mobility is very limited among grade school and high school students in the ASEAN region.