To ensure a smooth and orderly opening on August 29, the Quezon City government is gearing up all of its efforts and resources to aid students and teachers for the school year 2023-2024.
“Education is a community responsibility. We want to make sure that our children are given the right tools, environment, and guidance to help them learn and develop their potential,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
The Schools Division Office of Quezon City (SDO QC) is expecting over 458,000 students for the school year.
Being one of the cities with the highest student population, the City strives to address the challenges that remain present in the education sector, primarily school congestion and quality of learning.
In coordination with the Schools Division Office, the City aims to implement various strategies to address classroom shortage. Proposed interventions include the construction of mid-rise school buildings and institutionalization of blended learning.
“Congestion is still an issue since QC is the biggest division in the country in terms of student population and there are no more buildable spaces. We have started building vertically in some areas. We are also institutionalizing the blended learning modality. Congested grades will shift to blended modality where there will be three days of face-to-face classes and two days of asynchronous or synchronous classes,” Mayor Belmonte said.
“Together with the Schools Division Office and the Education Affairs Unit, we are also considering a school service or bus system to transfer excess students to QC schools that have not reached their full absorptive capacity,” she added.
Moreover, the city is in the process of introducing the QC Voucher system for elementary learners similar to what is being done now at the senior high school level, where students will be given a voucher to enroll in accredited QC private schools.
The LGU is also open to leasing unused buildings in private schools that can serve as extension facilities to congested public schools.
Several schools are also undergoing renovation in an effort to provide a better and more conducive learning environment for the students.
Part of ensuring that all QCitizen learners are ready to go back to classes, the city has started the distribution of learning kits to all K to 12 learners.
QC Education Affairs Unit (EAU) Officer-in-Charge Ms. Maricris Veloso said that the distribution of school supplies for enrolled students has commenced, while public school teachers can expect an additional 1,000 laptops within the year. Since 2020, the city has distributed over 6,000 laptops to its public school teachers. Teaching and non-teaching personnel can likewise expect the continuous provision of monthly and quarterly allowances.
The city government will provide additional sets of tables and chairs for teachers, 15,000 tablet armchairs for elementary schools, 10,000 tablet armchairs for secondary schools, and 5,100 sets of kiddie tables and chairs for kindergarten learners.
Furthermore, QC will also procure 141,880 storybooks, 80,000 workbooks, SMART TVs, computers, and CCTVs, underscoring safety in schools. Efforts to improve the internet connectivity in schools as well as free internet access for hybrid learners, and provision of assistive technology for inclusive learning are also underway.
As part of the City’s Learning Recovery initiatives, the City is also implementing its tutoring program dubbed Zero Illiteracy sa QC, to help improve students’ fundamental skills in reading and numeracy.
“Our objective for the upcoming opening of classes is to ensure that learners will have their educational needs met and to lessen the parents’ worry,” the mayor said.
SDO QC also noted that an Education Summit in consultation with education stakeholders; parents, barangay, school heads, learners and teachers was conducted prior to the opening of classes. Oplan Balik Eskwela hotlines and help desks are also operational, and traffic management has been planned in coordination with the barangays and concerned city departments.
“Let us help our students achieve learning excellence by actively engaging in our children’s education and being one with the city government,” Schools Division Superintendent Ms. Carleen S. Sedilla said.
With all these preparations in motion, the City ensures the successful opening of classes for School Year 2023-2024.