THE Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) is on heightened alert for the opening of classes today, June 2.

Senior Superintendent Larry Decena, officer-in-charge of BCPO, said about 260 police officers will be deployed to secure the different public and private schools in the city.

In every school, two police personnel will be assigned to man the police assistance desk.

Policemen on bikes and motorcycles will also monitor the peace and order situation in various schools, Decena said, since snatchers and swindlers are expected to strike during the opening of classes.

The BCPO will also monitor possible illegal drug operations inside the school campuses, he said.

Decena said he directed all station commanders, and also the Bacolod City Public Safety Company to intensify their visibility patrol operations.

He reminded parents to tell their children to be vigilant and not to talk to strangers.

Decena said hundreds of traffic enforcers were also assigned by the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office to ensure the smooth flow of traffic near various schools.

Increase in enrollees

In Negros Occidental, the Department of Education reported an increase in enrollment in public elementary and high schools for school year 2014-2015.

Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Juliet Jeruta said there is an increase of one percent in the number enrollees for Grade One and the same increase among first year students this school year.

A total of 232,000 elementary, 92,000 secondary and 31,000 kinder students are expected to troop back to public schools in the province today.

Jeruta said that because of tuition fee increase in private schools, a number of students have opted to study in public schools.

Perennial problems of the lack of classrooms, teachers and books are still noted, the DepEd official said.

Jeruta said that last year, they requested 1,600 slots for new teachers but they received an allocation of only 600 slots.

“But we expect that the balance of 600 teachers will be opened for new applicants,” she said.

The ideal teacher to student ratio is 1:45 for elementary and 1:40 for high school.

"In the province, the current ratio is about 1:45," Jeruta said.

She added, “We still don't have the number of how many classrooms we need but many sectors are helping us address the problem.”

Jeruta said the DepEd has allocated a certain amount for the construction of classrooms in the province while local government units and non-government organizations have also donated classrooms in areas where there is a need.

Schools that lack classrooms implement shifting, wherein two classes take turns in using a classroom, as a temporarily as a solution.

Jeruta also reminded parents that while schools will still accept late enrollees today, they will no longer accept students after the June 6 deadline.

In Bacolod, 99,776 students in elementary and secondary levels are expected to be back in school today.

Bacolod City Lone District Representative Evelio Leonardia said the opening of classes is an institution

“This is a time for everybody to be excited especially on the part of the students particularly the first timers and also to the parents. It is another chapter,” the lawmaker said.