All systems go for Oplan Balik Eskwela in Ilocos Norte

*Some 80K students in public, 7K in private schools are expected to enroll here this school year thru remote scheme

By Cherry Joy D. Garma

LAOAG CITY, May 31 — All systems go for the joint online kick-off program of Brigada Eskwela and Oplan Balik Eskwela in Ilocos Norte for this school year of the Department of Education amid the Modified General Community Quarantine in the province.

Over 80 thousand students and pupils in public schools and about seven thousand in private institutions are expected to enroll online for the school year 2020-2021 based on the analysis of the Schools Division of Ilocos Norte (SDOIN).

Ilocos Norte Schools Division Superintendent Joann A. Corpuz said all school heads should not require the classroom teachers to report physically in the school and follow the work arrangement status quo.

In a memorandum issued to all regional and division offices, the physical presence of all teachers in school on June 1 to 5 is highly discouraged advising them to implement ‘Work from Home’ arrangement, while the first two weeks of enrollment shall completely be remote (no face-to-face).

“Teachers will contact the learners or their parents to facilitate online enrollment of all grade levels through the use of different online communication. School heads will lead the planning of the activities to implement the system depending on their local health situation,” Mr. Alfredo Medrano, planning officer of SDOIN said.

Unlike the previous conduct of Brigada Eskwela where physical preparation of school facilities for classroom maintenance was being conducted, this year the main focus is engaging the partners to help support the DepEd for the provision of learning opportunities to continue with the Learning Continuity PaeDlan in line with the current situation.

“The SDOIN will conduct an online capability building of Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) officials on their roles in the different learning modalities, and online forum with different local government unit representatives,” Mrs. Valerie Talamayan, Senior Education Program Specialist said.

In response to the public health emergency situation, the Department of Education (DepEd) has developed a Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan that lays down direction for basic education which includes the “no face-to-face” policy for the conduct of “Brigada Eskwela” and “Oplan Balik Eskwela” activities for the period from June 1 to August 29.

To properly address the public concern about enrolments, school guidelines, and policies in time for these activities, an online platform will be launched on June 1 to serve as the Public Assistance Desk in every division.

The DepEd Region VI will host an online kick-off using the Microsoft Team and other media platforms with the online participation of all regions and divisions including selected stakeholders.