Oliver Bugarin 13 0 0 6 min to read

DepEd: the beginning of in-person classes was “calm and orderly.”

The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Monday that overall, the first day of face-to-face classrooms across the country has been calm and orderly.

DepEd official Michael Poa stated in a Viber message that there had been no serious problems reported as of Monday am.

“As of 9:20 a.m. po, maayos at mapayapa po ang pagbabalik eskwela ng ating mga learners, base po sa mga reports ng ating mga regional directors. There are no unfavorable incidents at the present. As of 9:20 a.m., based on the updates of regional directors, the reopening of the school is orderly and serene for our students. Patuloy po kaming naka-monitor sa ating mga paaralan. There haven’t been any unfavorable instances reported to us. We always watch over our schools, he continued.

The DepEd made the announcement following their extensive planning for the gradual switch to face-to-face instruction in order to guarantee students’ safe returns after two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Schools that have begun their in-person setup have put in place safety regulations, such as the requirement for face masks, temperature checks, and good hygiene.

Police help desks were also stationed on stations close to schools to maintain security on school grounds.

The Oplan Balik Eskwela Command Center also received 26 calls, the majority of which were inquiries about school policies and procedures; nevertheless, some guardians’ main concerns centered on whether or not a Form 138 photocopy could be issued even though a private school’s account was still unpaid.

student turnout

The DepEd has registered 28,035,042 enrolled students as of Monday, which is just shy of the 28.6 million enrollments they had hoped to reach.

Poa, however, stated that parents can still enroll their kids even though they will eventually need to use a face-to-face learning environment starting on November 2.

“We continue to urge people who haven’t signed up to do so as soon as possible. Even though we haven’t reached our anticipated numbers, it is important to emphasize this. The number of students enrolled this year is already 101 percent higher than our estimate from the previous academic year; he told the Philippine News Agency in a text message.

Over 4 million of the over 28 million participants for this year were pre-registered, with the remaining over 23 million registering during the official enrollment period.

The DepEd argued that this turnout exceeded the previous official enrollment total of 27,560,661 participants.

In order to counteract the “learning loss” that occurred in distant learning during the epidemic, the DepEd adopted a strong stand in favor of the gradual switch to face-to-face instruction.

Covid-19 guidelines

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said there must be innovative measures to ensure the health and safety of children, while Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva said he wants lessons to be held in comfortable classrooms with complete learning resources as promised by the DepEd.

As long as Covid-19 is still a hazard, it is imperative that basic health requirements are observed, Villanueva added.

As evidence, Gatchalian cited Department of Health (DOH) statistics showing that only 26.94 percent of children aged 5 to 11 and 76.41 percent of those aged 12 to 17 have received all recommended vaccinations.

“Let’s devise creative solutions and collaborate with the DOH and local government entities. In order to encourage more kids to receive their vaccinations, let’s try to set up vaccination clinics in schools, said Gatchalian, chair of the Committee on Basic Education.

Gatchalian checked on the readiness of the schools, instructors, and students on Monday when he visited Marulas Central Elementary School and Valenzuela National High School in Valenzuela City, his birthplace.

Senator Lito Lapid is confident that soon, the educational system will return to some semblance of normalcy.

“I firmly believe that the resilient spirit of the Filipino people will lead us to our destination. Once the budget season resumes, my colleagues and I in the Senate will closely monitor the proceedings and offer any necessary assistance “Lapid made a different comment.

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