August 15, 2022 | 00:00
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) is today launching its annual Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) program which aims to ensure a smooth and orderly opening of classes in public schools for the 2022-2023 school year on August 22.
The launch signals DepEd’s determination to stick to the academic calendar, which sets classes to open next Monday, despite calls from some sectors to delay the resumption of classes for a variety of reasons.
Undersecretary for Education Epimaco Densing will lead the launch. Densing is also the chief of staff to Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, who is the 2022 OBE President.
The DepEd will allow public schools to decide whether they will implement in-person classes, blended learning, or full remote learning on August 22.
DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa told The STAR that from August 22 through October 31, schools have the option to implement in-person, blended or remote learning.
“After October 31, (it will be) in person (classes) for all schools,” Poa added.
This was all spelled out in DepEd Order 34 issued last July 11 by Duterte, according to the DepEd spokesperson.
The decree sets the school calendar and activities for the 2022-2023 school year.
Road safety preparations in place
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) said yesterday that its preparations for the resumption of classes are already in place.
In an interview yesterday, PNP-HPG leader Brig. General Clifford Gairanod said he had created the operational guidelines for the return of face-to-face classes later this month.
The PNP-HPG has a security and deployment plan in place to keep students safe, according to Gairanod.
“We will have road safety commissioners and we will have an information campaign. We will be distributing flyers with several safety and crime-fighting tips,” he said in Filipino, in an interview with dzBB radio station.
He added that conferences are also planned with various PNP-HPG units across the country.
The newly installed PNP-HPG leader said he was also coordinating with local police units to increase police numbers in time for the reopening of classes.
“We are also coordinating with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Land Transportation Office (regarding routes) for the reopening of classes,” he added. –Ralph Edwin Villanueva