In line with its annual initiative to engage education partners and stakeholders in preparation for the opening of classes, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to reactivate the National Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) for School Year 2018-2019 from May 21 to June 8 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan, DepEd-Central Office in Pasig City.
“The conduct of the OBE will ensure that all our learners are properly enrolled and able to attend school on the first day of classes by addressing problems, queries, and other concerns commonly encountered by our stakeholders at the start of the school year,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones explained.
Under the OBE, the DepEd-Central Office (CO) shall set up the OBE Information and Action Center (IAC) at the Bulwagan ng Karunugan which shall serve as the information and complaints processing and routing zone for the duration of the project. Likewise, regional and division offices are encouraged to set up a command center to receive and respond to concerns directly from the ground.
Regional information officers and other OBE personnel attended the 2018 OBE National Orientation last May 10 to 11 at the DepEd-CO to capacitate them on how to properly handle and answer questions from the public.
Some of the topics discussed at the orientation include Learner Reference Number (LRN) and Learner Information System (LIS); Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE); Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT); K to 12 Program; enrollment policies; Kindergarten; Alternative Learning System (ALS); Madrasah Education Program; Special Education (SpEd) Program; disaster-preparedness; Child Protection Policy; and teacher hiring, among others.
Mobilizing partner agencies, organizations
Furthermore, to ensure that all school opening concerns will be addressed, including those outside the purview of the Department, DepEd will assemble the OBE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“We are also working closely with our partners to ensure the delivery of quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education… Para kapag may concern sa school regarding electricity, o hindi ma-access ang eskwelahan dahil sa sira ang tulay, madali itong maaaksyunan with the assistance of our partners,” Briones said.
The OBE-IATF is composed of the Department of Energy (DOE); Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); Department of Health (DOH); Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH); Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD); Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); Manila Electric Company (MERALCO); Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS); Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA); Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); and Philippine National Police (PNP).
The opening of classes for School Year 2018-2019 in all public schools nationwide is on June 4.
This effort is pursuant to the DepEd Memorandum No. 50, series of 2018, or the 2018 Oplan Balik Eskwela which is available online at http://www.deped.gov.ph/memos/dm-050-s-2018.