THE Department of Education (DepEd) is all set to welcome School Year 2020-2021 through its National School Opening Day program on October 5.
Starting with a nationwide simultaneous flag-raising ceremony at 7:30 a.m., the program will be led by Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, who will give an inspirational message and formally declare the opening of the new school year amid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“[This is a] celebration…a declaration of victory: A declaration of continuity of education [despite the] challenges we are facing,” Briones said in a press briefing last week. “Education will continue, [our] children will continue learning, and [our] parents will continue supporting us. Our government, our teachers—all of us are involved in this effort…This will be the biggest victory of all at this time of the pandemic.”
DepEd’s executive committee members, as well as service and bureau directors, will be in full force on the ground and are scheduled to give live updates on distance learning during the first day of classes in different field offices and schools they will visit.
Panels related to the opening of classes and the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan, or BE-LCP, will also be featured—including “Oplan Balik Eskwela” (OBE), health and safety protocols, as well as education continuity.
Undersecretaries Jesus Lorenzo Mateo and Revsee Escobedo, with Regional Directors Wilfredo Cabral (Calabarzon), Ramir Uytico (Region 8) and Arturo Bayocot (Region 10) will lead the OBE panel and provide field updates.
For the second panel, Undersecretary for Administration and DepEd Task Force Covid-19 Chairman Alain del Pascua, alongside Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service Director Ronilda Co, with field officials, will discuss health and safety protocols that are in place for the school year.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio will send updates and clarify confusions on the distance learning; while a teacher, a parent, and a learner will participate by sharing their hopes and experiences on the new normal of learning for the education continuity panel.
For the final panel, DepEd Undersecretaries and Spokespersons Nepomuceno Malaluan and Annalyn Sevilla will join Briones for the Secretary’s Forum, which will tackle pressing matters of the department for the school year. A representative from World Vision and the Central Visayan Institute Foundation-Dynamic Learning Program will also join the panel to discuss their respective initiatives in partnership with DepEd.
Filipino teachers will also be honored during the program as part of the celebration of World Teachers’ Day and National Teachers’ Month.
DepEd TV teacher-broadcasters Pamela Amor Villanueva of Bagong Silang High School and Jamil Carvajal of T. Paez Integrated School will host the event. The program will be live-streamed via the DepEd Philippines Facebook page, as well as through various partner government institutions and media organizations in social media.