Sorsogon City Local School Board Addresses Urgent Education Concerns Amidst Pandemic

By Jefferson B. Marbella, PDO-OSDS
In response to the challenge to “leave no learner behind” despite COVID-19, the Local School Board (LSB) of Sorsogon City, chaired by Sorsogon City Mayor Ma. Ester E. Hamor and co-chaired by Sorsogon City Schools Division Superintendent William E. Gando, has approved the realignment of certain allocations in Proposed 2020 Special Education Fund (SEF) Budget during the LSB Meeting held July 21, 2020 at Mayor Hamor’s residence  to accommodate urgent education expenditures relevant to alternative learning delivery modalities stipulated in the Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) of the Department of Education (DepEd) Sorsogon City. 

DepEd identified these modalities to include modular distance learning ,  television-based, radio-based instruction, blended, and online, to ensure that all learners will have access to quality basic education for SY 2020-2021 in spite of the public health situation.

Some P4.5M was realigned and will be incorporated in the Project Procurement Management Plan (PPMP) of the LSB to expedite the purchase of instructional materials, equipment, and school/office supplies required to print modules and worksheets for the approximately forty-five thousand (45,000) elementary and secondary, including Alternative Learning System (ALS) and Special Education (SPED) students in the city. 

To augment the initial logistical requirements for the new normal, however, SDS Gando has given instructions to school heads to shoulder the reproduction costs of modules for the initial weeks through their local funds and Brigada Eskwela initiatives, as the LSB-initiated procurement is anticipated to take effect around the latter part of the year.

Additionally, DepEd Sorsogon City is set to contract ninety (90) teacher-applicants from the agency’s roster as “para-teachers” from September to December 2020, to assist in providing various types of education-related services such as module delivery and retrieval, information dissemination, assistance to learners and other contingencies. DepEd will give corresponding experience merits to para-teachers for this particular engagement.

During the preliminaries, SDS Gando highlighted the remarkable achievement of DepEd Sorsogon City in pumping up enrollment for SY 2020-2021, generating a turnover rate of ninety-seven plus percent (97+%) over that of last year placing Sorsogon City among the top tier enrollment-rich divisions in the whole region, as far as public schools are concerned. 

Nonetheless, Sorsogon City remains challenged because of low enrollment rate among private schools, posting a meager thirty-eight percent (38%) based on the data gathered by DepEd Sorsogon City Planning Officer Regner Atutubo III. 

To address this, the Office of the Schools Division Superintendent has issued a memorandum titled “Division Child Finding Activity”, geared at determining the actual names, location, and reasons of non-enrollees for not enlisting in any school, whether public or private. The result of this fact-finding initiative will be released around the first week of August.

Towards the conclusion of the LSB meeting, Mayor Hamor declared that the Sorsogon City Government is just awaiting DepEd’s signal so it can distribute school supplies, umbrellas, and surprise gifts to the learners of Sorsogon City. 

The meeting posted one hundred percent attendance, which included members Atty. Joven Laura, Lorenz Abenion, Magdalena Paladin, Arnel Dominguiano, Gracia Alerta, Narlyn Dechavez, Christine Meralpes, Jinky Aquino, and City Administrator Atty. Mark Gerald Guirindola.#
Sorsogon City Local School Board Addresses Urgent Education Concerns Amidst Pandemic Sorsogon City Local School Board Addresses Urgent Education Concerns Amidst Pandemic Reviewed by Sorsogon-News on 6:31 PM Rating: 5

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