THE DEPARTMENT of Education is working with other government agencies to ensure the safe opening of classes on August 29.

/ 16 August 2023

THE DEPARTMENT of Education is working with other government agencies to ensure the safe opening of classes on August 29.

DepEd said it is ready to cope with the influx of students and expects to encounter many challenges.

“Since we are still in recovery mode, the opening of another school year is very critical to improving the learning outcomes of more than 28 million learners. We expect that this coming school year, we are welcoming 28 million learners,” Undersecretary for Operations Revsee Escobedo said.

“This year, we acknowledge that we will face a lot of tasks and challenges on top of the perennial problems that we have, but rest assured that DepEd will continue its efforts to address these challenges but we will need a whole-of-nation approach for this,” Escobedo added.

However, he said with the assistance of partner agencies, the DepEd expects the opening of classes to be “smooth, safe and orderly.”

The agency said it is working with the Department of Health and local health units to ensure the health of students, teachers and non-teaching staff, especially against water and food-borne diseases like influenza, leptospirosis and dengue.

It is also working to ensure proper ventilation in classrooms especially with the hot temperature exacerbated by the El Niño phenomenon.

Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police said 37, 264 policemen will be deployed to secure public schools nationwide for the opening of classes, while another 7, 538 will guard the premises of private schools.

National Capital Region Police Office Director Brig. General Jose Melencio Nartatez said they will deploy 5, 085 police officers to secure 1, 262 public and private schools in Metro Manila during the opening of classes.

Also a total of 668 police assistance desks, to be manned by 1, 572 police officers, will be set up near the entrance gates of school campuses in coordination with DepEd.

The Land Transportation Office said it will also deploy its officers in areas where “densely populated schools” are located to prevent the violation of transportation rules and regulations.

Among the areas with dense concentration of schools in Metro Manila are the University Belt in España and Mendiola, along Katipunan Avenue, Batasan Hills, and Commonwealth Avenue all in Quezon City.

The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic Chairperson Charlie Del Rosario said eight teams composed of 79 personnel will be deployed in the EDSA Carousel route on a three-shift schedule to cover round-the-clock duties of all 19 EDSA Busway stations.

“This is to ensure not just safe and orderly traffic flow but also the safety of students and other passengers availing of the services of the EDSA Busway against lawless elements,’ del Rosario said.

He said another team composed of seven personnel, including five from the Philippine Coast Guard, will be tasked to monitor the bike lane networks in areas most affected by the opening of classes in the metropolis.