All systems go for school opening

It’s all systems go as millions of learners return to their classrooms on Monday, 22 August, for the school opening, the Department of Education said on Friday.

DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa told reporters in a press conference at the DepEd central office in Pasig City that as of 19 August, a total of 23,037,922 learners have enrolled so far for the incoming school year.

“If you also add our early enrolment, which 4,129,427 learners, the total number of enrolled learners for this year is 27 million. We are 96 percent to target, which is 28.6 million,” he explained.

Poa urged parents and guardians to enroll their children for this school year.

“We still have a few days until 22 August for our enrollment. Again, we encourage the parents to enroll their kids so that we can prepare our schools based on the actual number of enrolled learners this year,” he said.

Poa said there are 24,175 schools or 46 percent of the schools nationwide that will implement five-day a week of in-person classes.

He also said that 29,721 schools nationwide or 51.8 percent of the schools will implement blended learning.

“But I have to remind you that our blended learning also has an in-person aspect — 3 days initially and then 4 days thereafter,” he added. “If you add that both, around 90 percent of the schools have in-person aspect when we return to schools.”

He said 1,004 schools or 1.29 percent will conduct full-distance learning.

Poa said that 325 temporary learning spaces are being built in earthquake-hit areas, while 163 temporary learning spaces have been provided in areas affected by typhoons “Odette” and “Agaton.”

Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition disagreed with DepEd’s statement that all systems go for school opening and that facilities and learning materials are enough.

“We beg to disagree. Consistent ang report that we receive from the field, from our teachers. There’s not enough classrooms, chairs and even learning materials,” TDC chairperson Benjo Basas said in a statement.

The group urged DepEd to defer the opening of classes to September or October.

Meanwhile, the DepEd will be giving a cash allowance of P5,000 to all public school teachers during the opening of classes on Monday, 22 August.

“We would like to announce that on the opening of classes, we will be giving our teachers a cash allowance of P5,000,” Poa told reporters in a press conference at the DepEd central office in Pasig City.

Poa said the target release of such allowance is within the first week of the opening of classes.

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