To guarantee a smooth opening of classes for school year (SY) 2018-2019 on June 4, the Department of Education (DepEd) convened various agencies, institutions, and stakeholders to form the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) 2018.
“We would like to thank our partner agencies in the government because this is not just the undertaking of the Department, this is the undertaking of the entire community of Filipinos who is interested in, and advocates quality education,” said Education chief Leonor Magtolis Briones.
Here are the preparations discussed with the partners:
Electrical safety, adequate power supply in schools
Among the efforts of the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) for this year’s OBE are the assessment of school’s electrical facilities to ensure compliance with electrical wiring safety standard, trimming of tree branches along electrical facilities within the school vicinity, and the distribution of “Safe ang School Ko” assessment forms to serve as basis in implementing proper corrections of school electrical conditions.
To date, MERALCO has assessed 2,628 schools in Meralco franchise areas using a standardized assessment checklist.
The Department of Energy (DOE) also made sure that there will be sufficient power distribution in the country.
Oplan Balik Eskwela Diskwento Caravan
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) kicked off the Oplan Balik Eskwela Diskwento Caravan on May 21 in Makati City. The activity, in partnership with manufacturers and retailers, gives consumers access to basic goods, school supplies, and prime commodities at discounted prices.
DTI is also intensifying its weekly price monitoring activities of school supplies, such as notebooks, pad papers, pencils, ballpens, crayons, eraser, sharpener, and rulers, during the months of May and June.
Safety and traffic management
More than 28,000 Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel will be deployed to assure the safety and security of students, teachers, parents, and school personnel nationwide especially during the resumption of classes. Also, PNP also disclosed that currently, there are no reported terror threats.
In addition, back to school season entails considerable traffic congestion as a large number of students in the National Capital Region is expected to troop back to school. To address this, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will deploy more than 2,980 constables.
Moreover, support groups, such as the traffic engineering center, sidewalk clearing operations group, anti-jaywalking and anti-smoking enforcement group, will perform their specific tasks to guarantee the peace and order within Metro Manila.
DepEd also met with the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Atmospherical Services Administration (PAGASA), and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to ensure that back-to-school preparations are complete.