THE Department of Education (DepEd) here has reminded school heads and teachers to strictly implement the agency’s “no collection policy" when new school year opens on Monday, June 4.

Jasmin Calzita, information officer of DepEd-Eastern Visayas, said that aside from enforcing the DepEd Order 41 series of 2012 which covers the prohibition of collecting fees during enrolment and the start of classes, school officials are also urged to “make the opening of classes festive especially for our kindergarten.”

“Also, let’s ensure the safety of our school children,” Calzita told SunStar on Saturday.

The official said they are “expecting more or less same number of enrolment” last year which was 1,244,110 students both in public and private.

“We cannot give the data as our schools are still on the process of encoding the names of our students in the Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS),” she said.

EBEIS is the agency’s web-based management information system that collects and stores education statistics, profile, learning centers and providers, and performance indicators, among other data.

“We have not reached the previous data yet. We are expecting more enrollees during the opening of classes,” Calzita added.

Calzita said that region’s Oplan Balik Eskwela-Public Assistance Command Center (OBE-PACC) are already set in the region, division and schools to entertain issues and concerns relative to the opening of classes.

Meanwhile, Edgar Tenasas, assistant schools division superintendent in Leyte, said that the province is already set for the new school year starting next week.

“Our school heads and teachers are doing their part to prepare their school for the opening. In the municipality where I am assigned for the Brigada Eskwela monitoring, I witnessed the concerted efforts of the school personnel and the community in all of the elementary and secondary schools in Babatngon, Leyte,” said Tenasas while thanking Babatngon Mayor Marife Rondina and District Supervisor Melfe Sanchez for their support during the monitoring activities.

Eastern Visayas, with its 13 school divisions, has 4, 161 public schools with 47, 334 teachers and 7, 485 non- teaching personnel. The region has a total of 301 private schools.

During its partnership roadshow last month, the region generated at least 38 memorandum of agreements and a total of P200,439,066 from various donors to fund its educational gaps like malnutrition, lack of non-teaching staff and Alternative Learning System faculty, lack of high school campuses in far-flung barangays, congested classrooms, high dropout rate, decreasing enrollment among elementary students, lack of school budget, low performance in the National Achievement Test, and lack of data-driven system to track performances of schools, among other school problems. (SunStar Philippines)