DepEd wants bigger enrolment

June 6, 2010 11:47 am 

MANILA, June 6 — Amidst the inevitable problem of shortage of classrooms, officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) were directed to campaign for and accommodate all children of school age in the more than 45,000 public schools nationwide.

This includes the enrollees and transferees with incomplete documents will be accepted in public schools as well as those estimated 10 million children who were never enrolled or are out school for years. This number has increased in the last several years.

Education Secretary Mona Valisno said, “Every Filipino child must be assured of the opportunity to get high quality education that will make him or her a whole person, a responsible citizen, and lead him or her to a successful entrepreneurial venture.”

“I am counting on the creativity and innovativeness of our school principals and teachers in making sure we accommodate all those who enroll. We have a menu of teaching methods that they can apply.

Similarly, there are various means our school heads can do to manage large school populations,” she said.

She also calls on all the school heads to work with the community and the private sector in campaigning for more enrollees.

“With your support we can very well go beyond the estimated 23.4 million school children and move towards reaching 100 percent participation.

It may not happen this year but we can be well in our way to achieve the EFA 2015 millennium goal set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),” she said addressing the public.

Meanwhile, Valisno tells principals and teachers to accept enrollees with incomplete documents.

“Parents transferring their children to public schools and do not have the official records of the child yet due various reasons are welcome to enroll them. But I must remind them that they should submit these documents as soon as they can,” Valisno said.

Many students cannot report to class regularly because of various reasons such as work, financial problems physical handicap, family and health issues, among others.

She reiterates President Arroyo’s directive not to collect any fees during enrollment and for uniforms to be optional.

To keep students from dropping out, DepEd is implementing several programs like the Open High School Program (OHSP), the Effective Alternative Secondary Education (EASE), and the Schools Initiated Interventions (SII).

There are also alternative delivery modes like the Modified In-School/Out-School Approach (MIS-OSA), parent assisted learning, and multi-grade education.

For those who were out of school, they will be given the accreditation and equivalency test (A&E) under DepEd’s Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) to get them back to the mainstream of formal education.

DepEd also has the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GASTPE) to decongest our high schools by supporting poor but deserving students to enroll in private high schools.

Tuition fee subsidies of P10,000 for those in the National Capital Region (NCR) and P5,000 for those outside NCR are given to each student paid directly to the schools.

GASTPE is implemented through the Education Voucher System and Education Service Contracting. The Arroyo government poured in about P4 billion to accommodate more than 700,000 beneficiaries.

Of this number, 50,000 are new entrants in first year high school.

Secretary Valisno expressed optimism that the problem on shortage of classroom will be addressed and efforts shall be undertaken to coordinate possible solutions with concerned agencies and partners like the local government, other government agencies, private businesses, community leaders, and private individuals.

DepEd is also opening its Oplan Balik Eskwela Command Center in its national headquarters in Pasig to help parents get their children to school.

Similar action centers are also open in various regional, provincial, and city offices of DepEd. The public may call (02) 636-1663 and (02) 638-7529 to 31 for assistance. (PNA) LOR/HCT


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