No need to suspend classes during athletic meets – Sec. Luistro

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 February) — The Department of Education (DepEd) will tighten up on the usual practice of most public schools in the country of suspending classes during athletic meets.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the class suspensions during athletic meets are unnecessary, especially for schools that are not utilized as billeting quarters of athletic delegations and other related purposes.

He said they observed such practice in various regions in the country, specifically during regional athletic meets.

“But we saw here in Region 12 that such practice is really unnecessary. Classes in public schools are going on as usual even during the regional meet,” he told reporters following the formal opening on Monday noon of the Region 12 or Soccsaksargen Regional Athletic Association (SRAA) Meet in Koronadal City.

Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The five day-regional games, which is hosted by South Cotabato province, is scheduled until Friday, February 14, at the South Cotabato Sports Complex.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd Region 12 director, said regular classes are ongoing in all public elementary and high schools in the region except for those selected as billeting quarters for the SRAA in Koronadal City.

He said the selected schools held Saturday classes last month to cope with the class suspensions for the five-day SRAA.

Luistro said he decided to visit Region 12 to see for himself the best practices and reforms being implemented by the DepEd regional office.

He said it’s important for them to keep track of the developments on the ground and ensure that the policies set by the central office are being complied or followed properly by local schools.

“I saw many changes happening here in Region 12 that needs support from the central office. We’ve learned a lot from our engagements here and hopefully, we can also bring them to the other regions,” he said.

Aside from gracing the opening of the 2014 SRAA, the DepEd chief led the launching on Monday of the Regional Center for Muslim Education located inside the DepEd South Cotabato Division compound in Koronadal City.

He also joined the first-ever Regional Communication Festival and Research Congress held at the Farm Resort in Koronadal.

The congress was participated in by teachers, school heads, division and district supervisors and principals in the region.

The activity was highlighted by contests on impromptu speech, humorous speech, read and retelling for teachers, division supervisors and district supervisors and principal in nine divisions; and, lectures on public speaking, memo writing, business letter writing and other related communication skills. (MindaNews)