Oplan Balik Eskwela of DepED; 17 Agencies Participated

Active Participation of 17 Agencies to the DepEd Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) Program

Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) of the Department of Education (DepEd) has been joined by 17 entities for the start of classes in public schools nationwide on Monday.

As of 7 a.m., the DepEd has a running total of 20.62 million students enrolled for the school year (SY) 2022-2023. yesterday. According to an information graphic provided to the media, of the 20.62 million registrants, 18.1 million attend public schools, 2.4 million attend private schools, and 70,386 attend state and municipal institutions and colleges.

Epimaco Densing, education undersecretary and OBE chairman, stated that the DepEd required all the assistance it could receive from other government agencies and the commercial sector to ensure a smooth resumption of courses. Densing reaffirmed that the DepEd is enabling integrated learning from Aug. 22 to Oct. 31 in accordance with DepEd Order 34 issued by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

From Nov. 2, there has to be 100 percent face-to-face (classes),” Densing said yesterday, morning at the launch ceremonies of OBE. DepEd has long been planning for the start of classes, he continued.

Densing emphasized that the DepEd‘s OBE effort this year had a unique set of challenges because it was conducted during a pandemic that lasted two years with the goal of gradually bringing back full face-to-face instruction.

Densing expressed gratitude to the 17 organizations for their strong involvement and support. According to the report of PhilStar, he named the 17 agencies, including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Department of Science and Technology, National Telecommunications Commission; Manila Electric Co. and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System,  National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council; Office of the Press Secretary, Science and Technology, Interior and Local Government, Information and Communications Technology, Trade and Industry, Philippine National Police, Departments of Health, Social Welfare and Development, Defense, Transportation, Energy, Public Works and Highways.

Oplan Balik Eskwela
Photo Credits: Daily Guardian

Meanwhile, the Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), the umbrella federation of public school teachers, said mentors are ready to return to school on the scheduled opening of classes next Monday, but they will continue to await a “final response” from Duterte on their appeal to postpone the opening of classes in order to extend teachers’ school break.

The TDC stated that a longer school vacation will allow teachers more “breathing space” to prepare physically, emotionally, and psychologically for another school year. The teachers’ sacrifices have been excessive, and the two-month vacation that they used to enjoy has not been considered, according to the association.

Today we received reports that teachers are required to report to school even if classes start on Aug. 22. They only finished their official tasks for SY 2021-2022 in mid-July, then there was enrichment, remedial classes and enrolment on July 25, Brigada Eskwela starting Aug. 1 and other in-service training programs this week. Th teachers actually had no rest period,” Benjo Basas, TDC national chairman said.

During a virtual conference last August 2, the TDC got the opportunity to discuss their proposal for an extension of the school holiday with Duterte. The Vice President, on the other hand, stated that it is no longer conceivable because the President has already authorized the plan and all preparations are centered on the scheduled opening.

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