Public schools ready for June 2 class opening

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


AS CLASSES open for the public elementary and high school levels on Monday, June 2, the Department of Education (DepEd) in Northern Mindanao assures majority of its schools are ready and equipped to accept students despite shifting of classes due to lack of facilities and influx of students this school year.

Medarda Galarrita, DepEd-Northern Mindanao information officer, cited the National School Maintenance Week or Brigada Eskwela that entailed a weeklong cleaning and repairs of the school facilities through volunteerism was successfully implemented in the region.

Celso L. Pagulon, principal of City Central School (CCS), said, “Last week, ready na ang classrooms for the pupils for June 2, the start of classes.”

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This week, late enrollees are still coming in and they are being accommodated since no schools are allowed to refuse students, Pagulon said.

The population at CCS has increased since students from private schools have transferred, he said.

About 50 classrooms have been rebuilt after the 2012 fire razed them, however, Pagulon has to wait the signal from DepEd central office if they could be used once the classes start.

“When the classrooms are ready for use, the shifting of classes will be discontinued and normal class schedules can be followed,” he said.

Until CCS gets the approval from DepEd central office, the shifting of classes will continue following this schedule: 6 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. sessions.

“Inagpasa (Rushed),” Pagulon said, referring to the shifting of classes since another set of class will occupy the classrooms after the 12 p.m. shift, leaving the room after the morning sessions unprepared for the next class to use it, but assured the number of minutes allotted per learning area isn’t affected.

Swarmed

On June 2, Pagulon said the school will be swarmed with students and parents and to prepare for it, the Philippine National Police and barangay police (tanod) have been tapped to assist the first day of classes.

The CCS will also establish a help desk in the strategic areas of the school for people who will be asking directions.

Use of mother tongue

It has been three years since public schools have implemented the K to 12 curriculum and teachers from both public and private schools have been trained this summer.

The current grade 3 students are the pioneering pupils of this curriculum, Pagulon said.

With regard to language instruction, the mother tongue (Bisaya) will be used in the first semester classes and will switch to Filipino in the middle of the first semester. Then, in the midterm, they will use the second tongue, which is English. The transition is gradual to ensure that the pupils will able to cope with the changes, Galarrita said.

Aruelo said that previously, the use of English traumatized the new students as they entered school because they did not fully understand the language. But with the use of mother tongue, “Dili na kaayo mahadlok ang mga bata,” Aruelo added.

The service providers, the Teachers Education Institute (TEI), composed of the different universities in the region like Xavier University, Capitol University, Liceo de Cagayan University and Bukidnon State University in Malaybalay conducted trainings for the teachers who will employ the new curriculum.

DepEd-Northern Mindanao monitors the trainings and also provides technical assistance, she said.

Only Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCHS) in the secondary level and City Central School in the primary level are doing the shifting of classes, due to the “lack of classrooms and a large population,” Galarrita said.

Starting this June 2, DepEd will be having the “Oplan-Balik Eskwela” as its way of monitoring the opening classes of schools in the region.

“So far, wala may complaints,” Galarrita said, adding that they are always on call whenever there are problems.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 29, 2014.

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