The Department of Education (DepEd) is set to open School Year 2020-2021 with a National School Opening Day Program on October 5.

To kick-off with a nationwide simultaneous flag-raising ceremony by 7:30 a.m., the program will be led by Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, who will give an inspirational message and formally declare the opening of the new school year amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Ito ay (This is a) celebration, ito ay (this is a) declaration of victory. A declaration of continuity of education whatever challenges we are facing. Education will continue, and [our] children will continue learning, and [our] parents will continue supporting us. Our government, our teachers, all of us are involved in this effort and this will be the biggest victory of all at this time of the pandemic,” Briones said in a press briefing last week.

DepEd’s executive committee members and service and bureau directors will be in full force on the ground and are scheduled to give live updates on the distance learning during the first day of classes in the different field offices or schools they will visit.

Panels related to the opening of classes and the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP) will also be featured, including Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE), Health and Safety Protocols, and Education Continuity.

The OBE panel shall be led by Undersecretaries Jesus Lorenzo Mateo and Revsee Escobedo, with regional directors Wilfredo Cabral (Calabarzon), Ramir Uytico (Region 8), and Arturo Bayocot (Region 10) set to give field updates.

Undersecretary for Administration and DepEd Task Force Covid-19 chairperson Alain del Pascua, alongside Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) director Ronilda Co, will discuss the Health and Safety protocols in place for the school year together with field officials during the second panel.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio shall give updates and clarify confusions on the distance learning while a teacher, a parent, and a learner will participate to share their hopes and experiences on the new normal of learning for the Education Continuity panel.

For the final panel, Briones will be joined by DepEd Undersecretaries and spokespersons Nepomuceno Malaluan and Annalyn Sevilla for the Secretary’s Forum, which will tackle pressing matters of the Department for the school year. A representative from World Vision and CVIF-Dynamic Learning Program (DLP) will also join the panel to discuss their respective initiatives in partnership with DepEd.

Filipino teachers will also be honored during the program as part of the celebration of World Teachers’ Day and National Teachers’ Month.

DepEd TV teacher-broadcasters Pamela Amor Villanueva of Bagong Silang High School and Jamil Carvajal of T. Paez Integrated School will host the event.

The program will be live-streamed at DepEd Philippines and in various partner government institutions and media organizations in social media. (Press Release)