As classes begin today: Over 2 million back to school
CEBU, Philippines — Over two million public elementary and high school students are expected to return to school in Central Visayas today, June 3.
Of this number, nearly 180,000 are in Cebu City.
Dr. Bianito Dagatan, Department of Education (DepEd) Cebu City Schools Division superintendent, called on teachers and school administrators to provide a welcoming environment to students and to coordinate closely with barangay officials and the police for security.
He also called on parents and guardians to send their children to school today, reminding them that the first day of school is important because it is when students are introduced to their new teachers and classmates.
DepEd Cebu City Division projected 178,000 students have enrolled in public elementary and high schools and 2.2 million across Central Visayas.
Dagatan said the number in Cebu City is based on the office’s database, which follows a policy that enrolls students automatically to the succeeding school year if they pass all subjects in the previous school year.
“We can only determine our final enrolment for School Year 2019-2020 when our online system (Electronic Basic Education Information System or EBEIS) is closed at the end of the month of June,” he said.
“But since there is always a trend of one percent increase every enrolment, then we will be expecting 182,000 students from Kindergarten to Grade 12,” he said further.
Last year, Cebu City had a total of 178,783 enrolled students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Private schools, meanwhile, have the option to start classes by August.
“For private schools, their enrolment will only be determined when the online system will be closed in September since they have the option to open classes not later than August 31,” Dagatan said.
In Cebu City, at least, 47 new classrooms will welcome students today across the different schools. Forty others are scheduled for completion while 143 classrooms are up for repair. Yet 206 others are being construction.
“These constructions are under DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) First Engineering District. We have monthly coordination meeting with the DPWH district engineer,” Dagatan said.
“Once these ongoing constructions will be completed by the contractors, it will address our shortage taking into consideration the same existing set-up to have day and night high schools so that our classrooms will be maximized,” he added.
DepEd has activated its assistance desk dubbed “Oplan Balik Eskwela Action Center” where parents and other concerned individuals can relay their concerns or complaints personally or via landline or email.
The common concerns include transferees from private schools that could not present credentials during enrolment or transferees who still have financial obligations from their previous school.
“(As solution,) we will temporarily accept them with the agreement that within the quarter, they have to produce the credentials,” Dagatan said.
DepEd’s regional office also receives their same concerns, said Asst. Regional Director Salustiano Jimenez.
Jimenez said the DepEd offices will always listen to the sentiments of parents in order to find solutions to their concerns, especially those concerning enrollment or the opening of classes.
“Parents can either call or proceed to the action centers located in the regional office or division offices of the 19 divisions in Central Visayas from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” he said.
The action centers opened simultaneously last May 27 and will run until June. (FREEMAN)