DepEd to reactivate Oplan Balik Eskwela centers nationwide

To ensure a smooth opening of classes come June 5, the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to reactivate the Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE) centers nationwide from May 29 to June 16, 2017.

The OBE aims to address commonly encountered problems at the start of the school year, which will ensure that learners are properly enrolled and will be able to attend school on the first day of classes.

The commonly encountered problems may include issues about students transferring from private school to public school, classroom assignment, power and water supply, peace and order, and Senior High School Voucher Program (SHS VP), among others.

Under the OBE, the DepEd Central Office (CO) shall set up the OBE Information and Action Center (IAC) at the Bulwagan ng Karunugan, which will serve as the information and complaints processing and routing zone for the duration of the project.

Moreover, DepEd CO has already disseminated necessary information and guidelines to its regional and division offices, and schools nationwide for the conduct of the OBE 2017.

Early preparation
To better capacitate the regional information officers and other OBE personnel in addressing public concerns, a national orientation on the OBE 2017 was conducted on May 22, 2017 at the Bulwagan ng Karunugan, DepEd CO in Pasig City.

Some of the topics discussed at the event include Learner Reference Number (LRN) and Learner Information System (LIS); Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE); Philippine Educational Placement (PEP) Test; K to 12; enrollment policies; Kindergarten; Alternative Learning System (ALS); Madrasah Education Program; Special Education (SpEd) Program; Disaster-preparedness; and Child Protection Policy, among others.

Final leg of K to 12 implementation
The first official batch of Grade 12 learners and new batch of Grade 11 learners under the K to 12 program of the Department are set to troop to senior high schools nationwide on the opening of classes for School Year (SY) 2017-2018.

In a recent press conference, Undersecretary Jesus Mateo said, “Ang binabantayan natin ngayon ay tungkol doon sa usapin ng Senior High School. Alam naman natin na last year ay nagsimula na tayong magkaroon ng mga Grade 11 learners na ngayong pasukan ay mga magiging mga unang opisyal na batch ng Grade 12 learners.”

“Ang mga concerns na possible nating matanggap ay tungkol sa SHS voucher program dahil kamakailan ay binuksan muli natin ang online application at ni-release ang results para rito,” Mateo added.

Inter-Agency Task Force
Furthermore, to ensure that all school opening concerns will be addressed, including those concerns outside the purview of the Department, DepEd will assemble the OBE Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“Every year nagbubukas tayo ng Oplan Balik Eskwela Command Center kung saan ang ating mga kaibigan sa iba’t ibang ahensiya ng pamahalaan at ang mga nasa private sector ay tumutulong upang matugunanan ang mga concerns sa pagbubukas ng klase,” Mateo mentioned.

“Alam naman natin na ang mga issues at concerns tulad ng daan, electricity, canals, at marami pang iba, ay hindi sakop ng Kagawaran ng Edukasyon kaya kinakailangan nating sumangguni sa mga nararapat na ahensiya at pribadong sector,” Mateo further explained.

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); Office of Civil Defense (OCD); Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA); and Philippine National Police (PNP).

This effort is pursuant to the DepEd Memorandum No. 55, series of 2017, or the 2017 Oplan Balik Eskwela, which is available at

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