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PIA Press Release

Classes open smoothly in Baguio, Cordillera

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (19 June) -- The opening of classes in all public and private, elementary and high schools in the city and the rest of Cordillera went smoothly.

Department of Education (DepEd-CAR) Regional Director Josefina Tamondong bared this in a Kapihan Forum, Wednesday.

According to Tamondong, regular classes opened smoothly on June 15 as students, teachers and even parents were all eager. ?We are expecting about 450,000 enrollees for the whole Cordillera in public and private pre-schools, elementary and high schools institutions for this school year,' she said.

Tamondong also gave credit for the smooth school opening to the successful "Brigada Eskwela" program of DepEd, in partnership with the different local government units, Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) and other private organizations.

Meantime, Baguio City National High School Principal, Dr. Elma Donaal, also confirmed that regular classes also opened smoothly for their 10,642 enrollees in the main campus and all of their annexes. She said student population may reach 11,000 as they are still accepting enrollees.

Both Tamondong and Donaal also disclosed that they have barely enough teachers for this school year and proposal for additional teachers were already submitted to address the problem of parent-teacher ratio. They also gave credit for the assistance of municipal, city and provincial government units in addressing such problem by hiring locally paid teachers.

Tamondong also explained that large classes are only encountered in some schools in highly populated areas like Baguio City. For the whole region, the average ratio is 1 teacher per 27 students and even goes as low as 1:20 in remote areas.

On the schools that were damaged by typhoon Pepeng last year, Tamondong assured that regular classes opened as most are already repaired while some are on-going repair or rehabilitation.

For the college level, Commission on Higher Education (CHED-CAR) Program Specialist Dr. Jun Marchan revealed that there are about 60,000 enrolled college students in the 18 higher educational institutions in Baguio City, with Saint Louis University, University of Cordilleras and the University of Baguio, as the top three schools in terms of number of students.

Baguio City Police Office Deputy Chief for Administration. PSSupt. Florante Camuyot, also assured the safety of the students and the riding public as they have already initiated Oplan Balik Aral and intensified police visibility, both foot and car patrols, through their "Cops on School" program in schools and public areas.

According to Camuyot, they are maximizing their limited strength of 421 cops. Even their headquarter personnel are patrol duties and they also tapped the assistance of other force multipliers for such purpose.

Meantime, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Assistant Regional Director Carmelita Usman assured the public that there are enough school supplies available and that they are being sold within or even lower than the Suggested Retail Prices. (PIA) [top]

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