The opening of the school year 2022-2023 on Aug. 22 in the Cordillera went smoothly except for minor challenges, according to the regional Department of Education.
DepEd-CAR Director Estela Cariño said all public schools in the region have opened for the in-person classes during the nationwide school opening while some private schools still implemented online classes and orientation for the meantime.
Cariño noted minor problems such as late enrollees especially in highly-populated central and national high schools. The DepEd has set Aug. 22 as the last date of enrollment.
She said there are still many opting to enroll in these schools located at the center, where most of the parents are also working.
She said some parents and guardians forgot to bring the packed lunch of their children but were reminded by the teachers, since some schools have not opened their canteens yet.
Cariño added even public schools in Abra that was heavily-hit by the July 27 quake still opened their doors to the learners.
In Bucay where two school buildings were damaged by the quake, pupils of Dugong Elementary School held classes at the municipal open gym.
Some schools in Abra also implemented blended learning while some continued with the in-person classes.
All schools were also required to adhere to the minimum public health protocols.
Cariño recognized that lack of teachers in the various schools division offices remains one of the primary concerns of DepEd.
She clarified there was never a lack of applicants for teaching positions but only the lack of teaching items.
“We have always been asking for more opening of items for teachers during our annual submission of proposals to the central office,” Cariño said.
The ratio of teacher to student is one is to 30 for elementary schools and one is to 50 to 60 students in the secondary especially for highly-populated schools.
DepEd-CAR needs more 53 teachers from kindergarten to grade 6, while it needs 397 more for junior high school and 842 more for the senior high schools.
She thanked some local government units that have been partnering with their respective schools division offices, by paying some teachers under the school board fund.
As of Aug. 24, the DepEd-CAR’s learner information system reported a total of 415,211 enrolled in the private and public schools with 221,152 enrolled in the elementary level.
Data added there are 130,842 enrolled in junior high; 63,217 in senior high, and 2,570 others enrolled in the alternative learning system for a total of 448,205. – Ofelia C. Empian