Thousands enrol in Cebu City; DepEd assures students’ safety

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MORE than 40,000 students have enrolled in public schools across Cebu City starting June 1, 2020.

Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, Cebu City Schools Division superintendent, said her office recorded a total of 41,369 enrolees in the kindergarten, elementary and high school levels since the start of the enrolment on June 1.

Most of the enrollees were enrolled in kindergarten and Grades one, seven and 11.

Meanwhile, this year’s Brigada Eskwela, which used to be a weeklong schools maintenance activity to prepare for the start of classes, will be different from previous years, the Department of Education-Central Visayas (DepEd 7) said.

New normal

DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez said that instead of the usual gathering of parents and teachers in schools for beautification and repair work, this year’s Brigada Eskwela will focus on an information drive about the importance of education amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the new needs of every school including the do’s and dont’s under the new normal.

Jimenez said the 19 schools division offices in the region are encouraged to come up with a “menu of needs” for the resumption of classes amid the Covid-19.

He said people can donate masks that students and teachers can use if ever face-to-face classes will be allowed.

The schools will also need washing facilities right at the schools’ entrance, sanitizers, alcohols, and internet connectivity.

Jimenez said face-to-face enrolment will not be allowed for the first two weeks of June.

The school administration may opt to ask for help from barangay officials in the house-to-house distribution of enrolment and survey forms on the students’ preferred modes of learning, in case classes push through on August 24 as earlier announced.

He said although DepEd 7 has conducted a survey among school heads last month on the modes of learning applicable in their respective schools, the parents’ response to the survey will be used to validate the suggestions made by the school administrators.

Jimenez said there is need to make parents aware that they will not compromise the safety and security of the students by having them come to school without implementing safety measures.

He said disinfection will be done in school facilities with the help of the local government units.

The DepEd 7 will also ask a certification from the Department of Health for the schools that are deemed ready for occupancy.

He said school supervisors and teachers are being trained on how to conduct online classes.

Should face-to-face classes be allowed in the future, he said protocol will be observed.

This may include reduced maximum number of students per class and the alternate schedules.

“We need to communicate to the parents about the importance of education. It doesn’t mean that because classes will resume, something bad will happen to our children,” Jimenez said in Cebuano.

Jimenez said while the final decision on whether to enrol their children this school year lies with the parents, several points need parental consideration such as the guaranteed safety and security of children in school while their parents are out working.

Can working parents guarantee that their children who are left with no school work at home, religiously stay at home for the entire year? Jimenez asked.

He also took note of possible risks on the misuse of gadgets at home without proper adult guidance. (WBS, PAC)

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