27 M students back to schools; Action vs IS militants needed » Manila Bulletin News



By Fred Lobo

Fred M. Lobo

Around 23 million students nationwide trooped back to public schools this week while another four million are expected to go back to private schools in the coming weeks for School Year (SY) 2017-2018.

Some 27 M students in our country’sschools could prove nightmarish.Books, classrooms, facilities and security concerns should immediately be addressed.


The Department of Education (DepEd) said classes in all public kinder, elementary, and secondary schools nationwide officially opened June 5, except forMarawi City and nearby areas affected by the ongoing clashes between military and the Maute terrorist group.

Classes should be back to normal except in areas where peace and order condition are “abnormal”


Another four million students are expected to go back to various private schools nationwide in the coming weeks.

Expect traffic congestion in Metro Manila and other urban cities.


Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she will be closely monitoring this year’s school opening .

Yes, Ma’am, monitor and immediately act on both expected and unexpected troubles.


DepEd said that with the nationwide implementation of Grade 12 under the Senior High School (SHS) Program this SY, around eight percent (8) or about a 2 million increase in enrolment in both public and private schools is expected.

Here come the country’s first 12th graders. Let’s wish them luck and more learning.


From 25 million enrollees last SY 2016-2017, the DepEd is bracing for 27 million students this school year – with 22,891,329 expected to enroll in public kinder, elementary, Junior High School (JHS) and SHS while 4,078,487 will go to private schools.

With a fast-growing pool of learners, education should indeed remain government’s top priority.


The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) claimed that the DepEd appears not ready for the opening of classes.

“Teachers and students are again to face the same problems. There are still no sufficient teachers, classrooms, facilities and equipment and other instructional and teaching materials. Several schools have double, even triple shifts,”said Benjamin Valbuena, ACT National chairperson.


ACT said that the DepEd has to build more classrooms, hire more teachers acquire more instructional and other learning materials, school seats and computer packages.

Hurry! Better late than never.


Rep. Antonio Tinio also claimed that about 3.4 million children are not able to go to school “due to lack of schools especially in far-flung communities.”

“We need to focus on this problem,” Tinio said.


Briones earlier said “we cannot say with 100 percent certainty that everything is there.”

“But we are generally ready” to welcome millions of learners in public schools, “ she assured.


Meanwhile, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu told an international security forum in Singapore that there are about 1,200 Islamic State (IS) group operatives in the Philippines, including foreigners of whom 40 are from Indonesia.

A matter of serious concern for the government and its security agencies.


Defense Secretary DelfinLorenzana said he does not have information on the claim of his Indonesian counterpart that “killing machines” by that big number were in the Philippines.

“(But) we have to find… complete ways but we must exercise caution, they are killing machines…so that’s why it’s our responsibility that we have common understanding, consensus and common proceedings on how to fight these foreign fighters,”Ryacudu suggested.


Reacting to Ryacudo’s report, Philippine Defense Undersecretary Ricardo David told reporters “I really don’t know, my figure is about 250-400, a lot less.”

It may be more or less but let’s act immediately nevertheless.


But David confirmed that there were 40 foreign IS fighters among those who seized parts of Marawi, eight of whom have been killed by government forces

Presence of foreign fighters confirmed. Strict port screening and close monitoring needed.


The Philippine National Police (PNP) is on its highest security alert status in Metro Manila amid threats from local allies and foreign supporters of ISIS, said Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

The NCRPO has been intensifying their security efforts in the nation’s capital, he added


“We are always on guard, we are always on alert,” Dela Rosa assured.

Yes to heightened alert!And better hit them before they hit us, sir!

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