The Department of Education in Western Visayas is confident that the opening of classes on Oct. 5 will be smooth amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“We are looking at the challenge of mobility because of border restriction. But I know when people know that you are serving the learners, I know things will be made easy. I really believe that we will have a smooth opening of classes come Monday,” DepEd regional director Ma. Gemma Ledesma said during a live streamed press conference following the regional launch of the “Handang Isip, Handa Bukas” today.
Current enrollment from kindergarten to senior high school (SHS) in public schools in Western Visayas is now at 97.31 percent or 1,750,921 of last school year’s enrollment, while non-graded enrollment or those under special education is at 90.26 percent or 4,705.
Meanwhile, 3,135 or 62.05-percent enrollment was recorded in local universities and colleges (LUCs) and state university and colleges (SUCs); and 64.26 percent equivalent to 151,850 learners in private schools.
Enrolled learners for all sectors is at 93.38 percent while for Alternative Learning System (ALS), it recorded 51.13 percent of last school year’s enrollment.
Ledesma said those who haven’t enrolled yet can still enlist as long as they meet the 80-percent attendance requirement.
Meanwhile, more than one million learners in Western Visayas have opted for the modular learning modality.
Based on the Learners Information Survey form, 1,075,391 learners or 64 percent of those enrolled in public schools and 45,287 or 29.85 percent of learners from private schools have chosen modules as their preferred means of learning.
Ledesma said they are encouraging use of other modalities, but for those that have no television or in areas where no radio station can be tapped, the best option is modular learning.
“It is really the modality of choice of our students. Only a small percentage of learners opt for online because of the availability of gadgets of course and the Wi-Fi signal,” she said.
Given the bulk of modules that should be printed, Ledesma said one possible option would be to provide soft copies that learners can print out.
However, she said as much as possible, they want to spend the allocation for the miscellaneous and other operating expenses (MOOE) of the school and other funds available in printing the materials so as to unburden the students’ parents.
Aside from MOOE, she said as part of their learning continuity plan, funds have been downloaded from their central office to division offices since July.
Schools can also source out money from their local government unit (LGU) through the special education fund and through the Brigada Eskwela where partnerships with schools are encouraged.
“Our LGU is one strong supporter of our basic education learning continuity plan,” Ledesma said.*