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DepEd Balik Eskwela assist centers mulled to address concerns, queries

SCHOOL OPENING. June 3 is the first learning day for both students and teachers, DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert T. Sadsad reminds students and the general public. (SAA/DepEd5-PIA5/Albay)

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Education (DepEd) Regional Office 5 launched Monday, May 27, the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) program to address queries and concerns regarding the opening of classes.

“The OBE is part of DepEd’s effort to ensure that learners are properly enrolled and able to attend school on the first day of classes. It aims to address problems, queries and other concerns commonly encountered by the public at the start of the school year,” DepEd Bicol information officer Mayflor Marie Jumamil said.

To assist and respond to these concerns, DepED Bicol led the creation of the OBE Inter-agency Task Force, a collaboration of various government agencies involved in various school opening matters.

Part of the program is the setting up of OBE Public Assistance Command Centers (PACC) in all schools in the region to serve as information and complaints processing and routing mechanism.

“Through the PACC, the public can lodge concerns to ensure smooth opening of classes,” Jumamil said. Jumamil cited the submission of birth certificates authenticated by the Philippine Statistics Authority as one of the common school enrollment concerns.

“Under the DepEd enrollment policy, birth certificate with PSA validation is required. However, if not available during enrollment, birth certificate from local registrar or barangay certification containing the name of child, date of birth, gender and name of parents can be submitted,” she said.

“However, the PSA authenticated birth certificate must be submitted within the school year,” Jumamil added Furthermore, DepEd Bicol Director Gilbert T. Sadsad assured that the opening of classes on June 3 will be a learning day for all students and teachers.

“June 3 will be a learning day for all students and classes in the region. We ensure that June 3 is indeed the 1st learning day for students and teachers,” Sadsad said.

Sadsad likewise stressed on the vital role of parents in instilling values to their children, with the schools as secondary partners.

“We often hear parents say, bakit walang values ang ating mga anak? Di ba sila tinuturuan sa mga schools?” he said.

“There are no schools that did not teach values but there are families who did not teach values. The point is, instilling values should start at homes and families,” Sadsad stressed on.

The OBE launching on May 27 at the Ayala Malls-Legazpi featured services of OBE Task Force member agencies such as provision of food supplements for school children from the Department of Health and distribution of IEC materials from the Philippine Information Agency and Office of Civil Defense.

A public command system comprised of the member agencies was also part of the set up to answer public concerns during the school opening and start of classes. (SAA-PIA5/Albay)

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