27.7M students returning to school nationwide

MANILA, Philippines – More than 27.7 million students are set to return to class as most schools across the country open on Monday, June 4. 

The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Sunday, June 3, that it is "all systems go" for school year 2018-2019.

An estimated 27,757,546 children from kindergarten to Grade 12 will troop back to public and private schools, including local and state universities and colleges.

"We welcome with utmost optimism our 27.7 million learners from all over the country," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said. 

The opening of the new school year comes as some public schools still face the perennial problem of the availability of classrooms, especially in highly populated areas of Metro Manila.

About 1.3% of schools, the DepEd said last May 21, still need support in terms of teachers, classrooms, toilets, seats, water supply, and electricity supply.

The DepEd had again conducted Oplan Balik Eskwela this year to address problems and concerns raised by students and their parents. The campaign received 2,219 complaints from May 21 to 31, and out of this number, 1,820 or 81% have been resolved.

An inter-agency task force consisting of various government agencies was convened to address these concerns. (READ: How DepEd, gov't agencies are preparing for school opening)

The task force is also expected to attend to needs throughout the school year, such as access to health care, assistance during crisis or emergency situations, and road safety, among others.  

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will deploy 28,000 cops nationwide to ensure the safety and security of students, teachers, other school personnel, and parents on Monday.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), meanwhile, will deploy more than 2,980 enforcers to support peace and order initiatives in various schools and nearby areas. – Rappler.com