Students enjoy watching the fishes at the pond built outside the classrooms of Gen. Climaco National High School in Toledo City.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal
As public schools start today: Half a million students in Central Visayas
May B. Miasco, Ermida Q. Moradas, Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - June 4, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — While several private schools begin classes in August yet, public schools will start a new school calendar today, June 4.

An estimated half a million students will return to school in Central Visayas with an estimated 175,000 in Cebu City alone, from kindergarten to senior high school.

Of the 175,000, an estimated 15,000 will be in kindergarten while an estimated 100,000 will be in elementary. An estimated 60,000 others will be in high school.

DepEd-7 public relations officer Amaryllis Rodriguez-Villarmia said final numbers will be released next month as enrolment may be extended until the month’s end.  She said public schools may even accept students until August but for special cases only.

Safe

Yesterday, the police assured that students can return to school safely.

Provincial Police Director, Senior Supt. Manuel Abrugena, said all cops in the province will be on duty today.

“Walang mag-off para ma-maximize natin ang presence ng ating mga schools lalo na iyung malaki ang population,” Abrugena told station commanders.

He said operatives of the Provincial Mobile Force Company (PMFC) and force multipliers such as barangay tanods will assist police stations that lack personnel.

Public assistance desks will be present at schools to provide assistance to parents and students.

“Nakipagtulungan din tayo sa kanila during election at malaki ang naitulong nila kaya naging successful po ang election natin kaya ngayong pasukan ay we are hoping na ganoon din ang suporta nila,” Abrugena said.

In Cebu City, Police Senior Supt. Joel Doria said his men will patrol areas around schools and near boarding houses.

“I have directed the station commanders, to patrol areas na mayroong maraming boarding houses para na din sa kaligtasan ng mga studyante na nagsibalikan na galing sa kanya-kanya nilang mga probinsya,” Doria said.

Just last month, a registered nurse and medical student identified as Amy Therese Cabataña was found dead with multiple stab wounds inside her boarding house. The suspect in the killing, her former boyfriend Wilfredo Velez, remains at large.

Dr. Bianito Dagatan, DepEd Cebu City Schools Division superintendent, said actual classes will begin today.

"For the parents, on the first day of classes, let your children come as early as possible. Enjoin them to report on the first day. Classes shall start immediately on the first day," he said.

He urged teachers and school administrators to maximize school supply requirements so as not to burden parents on expenses.

"Let us be one in welcoming our learners with a smile and sincere hearts of welcome. Let our learners feel that we are ready to give them the service they all wanted - the delivery of quality basic education."

Drugs

Meanwhile, the chief of the city police’s City Intelligence Branch (CIB), Supt. Christopher Navida, said they will continue to give talks to school children on the dangers and effects of using illegal drugs.

CIB will also continue to keep an eye on schools as students can be easy targets of drug personalities.

“Mayroon ng preparations in place. Kami sa  CIB ay focused talaga at dedicated na ma-prevent pa ang pag-proliferate ng illegal drugs dito sa Cebu kaya naman iko-continue pa rin namin yung mga short seminars involving children in school para ma-aware sila sa dangers ng illegal na droga,” Navida said. (FREEMAN)

PUBLIC SCHOOLS
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