MANILA — The Department of Education launched Monday channels where the public can forward queries and concerns related to next week's school opening.
The DepEd has set up a Public Assistance Command Center (PACC) in its Central Office in Pasig City, which would "cater to concerns, complaints, and requests of education stakeholders related to enrollment and other school opening preparations," the agency said in a recent statement.
The PACC will also disseminate and clarify policies and programs relevant to the Aug. 22 opening, the department added.
The public may reach the PACC through the following contact numbers: (02) 8636-1663, (02) 8633-1942, (02) 8638-7529, (02) 8638-7530, (02) 8638-7531, (02) 8635-9817, (02) 8634-0222, and (02) 8638-8641.
Concerns can also be raised via the mobile numbers 09194560027 and 09959218461, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and the DepEd's official Facebook page.
DepEd said its regional and schools division offices would also set up their own command centers.
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) also launched a "Bantay Balik-Eskwela" hotline to gather reports and updates on the school opening.
"The group aims to forward these reports to concerned DepEd offices for action and resolution," ACT said.
ACT can be reached through the contact numbers 09614215053 and 09674461266, email email@example.com, and its official Facebook page.
Meanwhile, DepEd also commenced the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE), an "annual initiative to engage agencies, organizations and other stakeholders" in preparation for School Year (SY) 2022-2023. It will run until Aug. 26.
"Alam po natin that the opening of classes will not be without challenges. That is why we are hoping na magtulong-tulong po tayo dito, kasama ng iba't ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno," DepEd Spokesperson Michael Poa said.
(We know that the opening of classes will not be without challenges. That is why we are hoping we can help each other here, along with the different government agencies.)
The Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of National Defense, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Energy, Department of Information and Communications Technology, and Department of Trade and Industry are taking part in the OBE.
Also part of the initiative are the national police, state weather bureau PAGASA, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, National Telecommunications Commission, Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.
For SY 2022-2023, schools will only be allowed to conduct distance and blended learning until Oct. 31. By November, all public and private schools must shift to in-person classes at full capacity.
The DepEd is also in the process of identifying schools that would be allowed to continue with the blended learning setup beyond Oct. 31, as proposed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.