MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The Department of Education (DepEd) is ready to welcome 27.5 million elementary and high school students for the opening of classes on Monday.
In a press release, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said “months before the opening of classes, the department has already taken steps to prepare all public elementary and high schools across the country. With this, we are optimistic that all our preparations are in place and are looking forward to a smooth opening of classes.”
The department said a total of 25.7 million students may troop to school tomorrow, of which 22.05 million are from public schools and 3.65 million are in private schools.
Of said total enrollees, 7.73 million are secondary, with 5.85 in public schools and 1.88 in private schools; and 15.47 million are elementary, with 14.25 million in public schools and 1.22 million in private schools.
Some 1.93 million pupils are also expected to have enrolled in the kindergarten level.
DepEd is reminding parents and school administrators that basic public education is free and that no collection should be done in the entire month of June and July.
"The only way to achieve higher outcomes in these preparations is to engage all sectors of society. DepEd is very grateful for the overwhelming support of our stakeholders to our programs," Luistro added.
He said the government’s Education For All project aims to improve the participation rate among students.
Meanwhile, the department also organized the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) campaign which established a working tie-up with various school security forces to ensure the safety of students returning to schools for school year.
"With all of these preparations, we can be assured that no student will skip the first day of the school year. I urge parents, teachers and the entire community to actively participate and ensure that our children are in school for the opening of classes," added Luistro.
Meanwhile, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Eduardo Oban has directed military units to ensure the security of students nationwide.
"As classes start, your AFP will see to it that our young people have access to a safe and unhampered environment conducive to learning nationwide,” he said.