School opening peaceful – NCRPO

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
School opening peaceful � NCRPO
Students of Concepcion Elementary School in Marikina City line up while waiting for their classroom assignments during the opening of face-to-face classes yesterday.
Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — With over 9,700 police officers deployed in schools in Metro Manila to secure students, no untoward incidents were recorded during the resumption of face-to-face classes yesterday.

“We have not recorded any school-related security incidents. The opening of classes was generally peaceful and orderly,” National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) spokesman Lt. Col. Dexter Versola said.

The NCRPO set up over 500 police assistance desks near schools to respond to security and order concerns of parents and students.

While the NCRPO did not record any untoward incident during the school opening, Versola said traffic congestion was a concern for students and parents.

“We hope that traffic enforcers from local government units can address this,” he said.

Full F2F classes in Makati

In Makati, classes opened yesterday at 100 percent on-site capacity ahead of the Department of Education (DepEd)’s mandate to implement full face-to-face classes in November.

Mayor Abby Binay said the city government made the right decision to implement full in-person classes to help students and teachers adapt faster.

Nearly 80,000 students in Makati returned to school yesterday.

There are 25 public elementary and high schools in the city.

The school district said each institution has a morning and afternoon shift, with an average classroom size of 30 to 45 students.

Binay said the city’s public schools are equipped with thermal scanners at entry points, handwashing facilities, alcohol dispensers and foot bath mats.

Air purifiers and UV light filters were installed in every classroom in compliance with the COVID protocols set by the Department of Health.

Classroom, teacher shortage

In Pasig City, the Rizal High School (RHS), one of the biggest secondary learning institutions in the country, needs additional classrooms, chairs and teachers to comply with the DepEd’s full on-site policy by November.

School principal Richard Santos said over 12,000 junior and senior high schools are currently enrolled in the RHS.

“It’s going to be cramped by November when full in-person classes start,” Santos said in an interview on dzBB.

He said the school is implementing in-person classes in batches, with about half of the 12,300 students going to school in one week while the rest are attending online classes.

Santos said they are currently maintaining a class size of 25 to 30 students.

He said the school is also short of more than 40 teachers for the senior high school department.

“We need more teachers, desks, chairs and classrooms,” Santos said.

In Navotas, at least 4,500 students attended in-person classes after two years of remote learning due to the pandemic.

Mayor Jeannie Sandoval led the launching of the mobile kitchen during the opening of face-to-face classes at the Malabon Elementary School.

In San Juan, Mayor Francis Zamora inspected public schools in the city yesterday.

Meanwhile, the 16 campuses of the Department of Science and Technology Philippine Science High School System (DOST-PSHSS) will resume full in-person classes on Aug. 31.

Lilia Habacon, DOST-PSHSS executive director, said about 10,000 students are enrolled for the school year. – Ghio Ong, Jose Rodel Clapano, Rainier Allan Ronda

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