MANILA, Philippines — As throngs of students prepare for the opening of classes this June, majority of them are much more excited about the notion that the government would again start talks about moving the school opening to September.
An annual event for government officials that usually begins when school has already started; lawmakers and officials of the Department of Education (DEPED) begin their discussion to keep the hope alive for millions of students braving flooded streets just to go to school.
“Matagal na naming pinapangarap na malipat sa Setyembre ang pasukan (We’ve been hoping for the start of school to be moved to September),” said Johnn Erick Medisina, a 15-year-old student from Bulacan.
“Di tulad ng mga anak ng Senador na may kotse o school bus, karamihan sa amin ay naglalakad patungong paaralan, at ang buhay namin ay nasa peligro tuwing may bagyo (Unlike the children of Senators who has cars or school buses, most of the students are walking to school, putting their lives at risk during typhoons).”
He added, “Kaso palagi nalang may ganung usapan pero wala namang nangyayari (They always talk about it, but nothing concrete comes out).”
“Anyare?” said 17-year-old student David Tan.
Lawmakers and officials have been open to the idea of moving the school opening to September to avoid frequent class suspensions forced by stormy weather or flooding.
“We’ll start the talks around mid-June,” according to a DEPED insider. “It’s one of the ways to show the students that we value their lives.”
“By that time, the public is too busy na with the ‘Ber‘ months to even contemplate about moving the school opening.”
An added factor is the decline in typhoon arrivals by that time that helps divert the public’s attention to other matters , according to the Senator.
“A sign that this proposal has been set aside is when the major networks starts their Christmas countdown,” the lawmaker revealed.
Sociologist Ruwell Gasaclang blames the Filipino trait of ‘ningas kugon‘ for not getting anything done.
“When you pitch an idea, see to it that all avenues are studied, discussed and be put into action and refrain from leaving the topic hanging,” said Gasaclang. “It’s the students that suffer due to the incompetence of our officials.”
He also said that the government should consider student’s welfare first and foremost, before thinking about the wide-ranging effects on various industries, fiestas, harvest season and etc.
“Mas importante ba ang kita ng mga summer vacation industry kesa sa buhay ng mga estudyante (Are you saying that profits of summer vacation industry more important than the welfare of the students)?”
After this, students and their parents would be excited and looking forward to the heated debate once again on whether who should announce class suspensions during typhoons.