READY. Department of Education (DepEd) 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Evelyn Fetalvero speaks to stakeholders during a convergence meeting on Friday (Aug. 12, 2022). It’s all systems go for the opening of classes in 4,182 schools in Eastern Visayas with the majority of school children already signed up for the new school year as of August 11. (PNA photo by Sarwell Meniano)

TACLOBAN CITY – It’s all systems go for the opening of classes in 4,182 schools in Eastern Visayas with the majority of school children already signed up for the new school year as of August 11, the Department of Education (DepEd) said on Friday.

Of the 1,301,782 Kindergarten to Grade 12 learners enrolled in the previous school year, 889,144 of them, or 69 percent were enrolled from July 25 to August 11.

DepEd 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Evelyn Fetalvero said they are upbeat to locate the remaining 31 percent of children not yet enrolled with school heads' strategies, such as home visitations, group chats, and coordination with local officials.

The DepEd conducted Brigada Eskwela, focusing on an information campaign, preparations, and strengthening partnerships that complement the department's effort to ensure quality basic education.

During the interagency convergence on Friday, the education department asked stakeholders from various government agencies to help encourage other children to register and be counted on or before the start of classes on August 22.

Representatives of the health, military, police, transport, information and communication, trade and industry, civil registration, and social welfare agencies also committed to supporting the resumption of face-to-face classes and ensuring the safety of learners.

DepEd personnel reported that some students in Southern Leyte will have to attend classes in tents and practice shifting classes after several classrooms were damaged by Typhoon Odette.

Fetalvero said Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte committed during her visit to the province this week to prioritize the repair of typhoon-hit classrooms.

“Even with the limited resources, quality learning should continue. Our partners go beyond the regular functions to ensure safe back-to-school activity,” she said.

“Odette”, which crossed Leyte Island in December 2021, destroyed 182 classrooms and damaged 3,596 classrooms in Southern Leyte alone.

Recognizing the pandemic and the need to resume five days of in-person classes, Fetalvero said schools would be given ample time to slowly transition by implementing options, such as the five days of in-person classes and blended learning modality.

Starting November 2, all public and private schools will have transitioned to five days in-person classes.

After the date, no school will be allowed to implement purely distance learning or blended learning except for those implementing alternative delivery modes. (PNA)