YESTERDAY'S opening of classes in public schools seemed to be generally peaceful and orderly except for some minor and isolated cases of a child-student missing but was found later on by her mother and the confusion of some children on their classroom assignments.

About 21 million students trooped to schools in different parts of the country as the official school calendar of 2014-2015 has commenced.

The Department of Education (DepEd) has reported the readiness of its teachers as well its schools in time for the opening of classes. This was after teachers, some students, barangay officials, some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and some parents of students helped in the preparation of schools in the annual DepEd program, the Brigada Eskwela.

The Brigada, over the years of being implemented, has been proven an effective way of preparing schools for their benefit and welfare of incoming schoolchildren.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) meanwhile has done its role in keeping the peace and order of the start of classes by deploying police personnel in schools and in streets. Yesterday morning were traffic policemen assuring the smooth flow of traffic in anticipation to the increase of vehicles on the road.

There were policemen who also distributed flyers inscribed with “Balik Eskwela 2014” and containing tips on crime prevention and safety reminders for parents and students.

The resumption of classes was said to be peaceful according to the police.

Meanwhile, the DepEd denied some report that there is no shortage in classrooms and assured the readiness of schools for the start of the school year. True. But there are congestion of classrooms experienced in many public schools with some occupied by as many as 70 students per room.

The ideal number of students per classroom according to education standards in the Philippines is 40 to 50 students per classroom only.

With the heat of summer still present in the country, we can just imagine the heat and the humidity that was experienced by congested rooms. Young students may not just bear the inconvenience that congested classrooms may give.

Classrooms in public schools have no air-conditioning units. The young may just have to be contented with a ceiling fan and some opened windows for ventilation.

A DepEd official has disclosed that classroom congestions will always be a problem every start of school year due to the rapid increase in the population here in our country. Population growth means congestion even dwellings in communities.

The comparison maybe with that of growing number of vehicles without the growing number of roads, thus traffic congestion is experienced.

In urban areas, where many residents thereat are living below the poverty line, many parents cannot afford to send their children in private schools. Many of their children are merely sent to public schools that makes congestion inevitable.

Generally, the start of the school year was smooth. The efforts of many sectors in our society have done their roles in welcoming the school year, for our children, would be peaceful and orderly.


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