DepEd braces for 22M students
The Department of Education (DepEd) on Thursday called a meeting with representatives of various government agencies to prepare for the smooth and orderly resumption of classes for over 22.8 million public school students on Monday.
The DepEd said all public schools nationwide have been spruced up and prepared to welcome back students through the Brigada Eskwela program, which had generated P1.3 billion worth of resources and man hours from some 3 million volunteers.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the initial number of private and public school students heading back to school could change in light of the fighting in Marawi that sent thousands of residents fleeing.
Private schools, with an estimated 4 million students, are to reopen on different dates after June 5.
Briones said DepEd expected a drop in enrollments in schools in Marawi and in eight barangays in Lanao del Sur, where the resumption of classes had been moved back by two weeks.
She also said schools in the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro were bracing for the influx of students from Marawi and other areas affected by the fighting between security forces and members of the Abu Sayyaf and the Maute terrorist group.
There are at least 5,000 students from Marawi now in Iligan City, according to Briones.
The state weather bureau forecast showers and thunderstorms on Monday, advising parents and students to bring umbrellas and rain gear.
“Bring fan or towel for warm morning-noon condition but be ready with an umbrella or raincoat for rain showers,” said Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration weather division chief Esperanza Cayanan. “Be aware of flood-prone areas in your route to school for flash floods due to thunderstorms.”
To help ease traffic flow on Monday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said it would deploy more than 2,200 traffic enforcers along critical roads in the capital leading to schools prone to traffic congestion.
The Philippine National Police said there was no immediate security threat in the capital but it would deploy foot and mobile patrols near schools to ensure the safety of students and to respond to any emergency.
Chief Insp. Johnny Capalos, assistant chief of the PNP Directorate for Operations’ public safety division, said police help desks have also been set up near schools to closely monitor security in surrounding areas.
Representatives from the Departments of Energy, Health, Trade and Industry, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, and the Office of Civil Defense, Manila Electric Company, and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System also attended Thursday’s meeting.
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