DepEd-Bicol gets ready for Jan. 25 early registrations to minimize dropouts

January 17, 2014 11:57 pm 

By Danny O. Calleja

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 17 (PNA) – The Department of Education (DepEd) in Bicol has put in place preparations for the conduct of early registration in all public elementary and secondary schools across the region set on Jan. 25.

All schools in these levels up to the remotest barangay in Bicol will be open on that day to hold the early registration, which is simultaneous nationwide as ordered by Education Sec. Armin Luistro through DepEd Order No.2 s.2014 recently issued, DepEd Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede on Friday said.

In the preparations, he said, school officials regionwide are instructed to coordinate with local government officials, barangay leaders as well as tribal communities of indigenous peoples (IPs) to ensure universal participation.

“DepEd has enlisted the assistance of local government and barangay officials for the early registration of out-of-school children (OSC), the out-of-school youth (OSY), those with difficulty in learning and the IPs,” Abcede said.

One goal of DepEd Order No. 2 s.2014 is to gather information on which to base its preparations to address potential gaps that may arise even before regular enrollment.

“We are under instructions from the DepEd secretary to prevent logistical problems when the new school year starts in June, given that if our school heads know how many students they will have ahead of time, they can better prepare classrooms, seats and learning materials,” Abcede stressed.

The specific target of the early registration are all five-year-olds to ensure their enrollment in kindergarten and all six-year-olds to ensure that they are enrolled in Grade 1 comes June.

Other targets of the early registration are OSC and OSY from the disadvantaged groups, including street children aged five to 18.

These targeted learners will be provided with their preferred education delivery system which could either be formal through the alternative delivery mode (ADM) or through the alternative learning system (ALS).

The early registration, Abcede said, will see DepEd people working closely with local government units (LGUs), the Parent-Teachers Associations (PTAs), barangay officials, civil society groups, civic organizations and the business sector to ensure wide sectoral participation in the exercise.

DepEd’s collective aim under this early registration system is a smooth June school opening, that is why preparations are set as early as January, he said.

It is also a measure to reduce the dropout rate in schools, especially between Grade 6 going to Grade 7 or first year high school, as DepEd would be able to monitor the number of graduating Grade 6 pupils who will continue in high school.

“Through the early registration scheme, DepEd will be able to identify those graduating from Grade 6 and take action if there are students who are in danger of dropping out from school,” Abcede explained.

In registering, the graduating Grade 6 pupils have to bring with them their certification from the school principal stating that they are candidates for graduation for school year 2013-2014.

Studies show that out of 100 pupils who enter Grade 1 nationwide, only 66 graduate in Grade 6 — out of which only 58 enroll in high school.

In Bicol, efforts in curtailing the dropout rate in the elementary and secondary schools for the past years through advocacy and awareness campaigns, implementation of school-initiated interventions and ADMs are finally paying off as what latest figures on last school year’s dropout rate reveal.

Data from the Enhanced Basic Education Information System (E-BEIS) showed that for School Year 2012-2013, the dropout rate in the elementary level declined to 0.62 percent, which was relatively lower compared to the 0.72 percent mark in School Year 2011-2012.

In the secondary level, the dropout rate for School Year 2012-2013 was pegged at 4.32 percent, compared to the 5.43 percent drop out in the previous school year.

When converted to absolute numbers however, the figures remained high in last year’s dropout rate.

Based on the actual enrolment in the elementary level last school year totaling to 988,787, it was bared that 6,130 pupils left school before completion of the grade level.

In the secondary level, the number was more alarming, given that of the 397,002 students who enrolled, a total of 17,150 dropped out.

Two years ago, the figures were higher–7,115 dropouts in the elementary level and 21,154 in the secondary level.

Poverty was the underlying common factor that triggered most of the learners to drop out from school, in both elementary and secondary levels, according to Abcede.

Many were forced into child labor while others succumbed to illness.

Another risk factor identified among dropouts was the distance of the learner’s home from the school, followed by transfer of residence.

In the secondary level, early marriage/pregnancy was also common and so with domestic problems as primary causes of dropping out.

In the elementary level, Camarines Sur posted the highest dropout rate at 0.96 percent last school year, followed by Masbate at 0.87 percent; Sorsogon City, 0.74 percent; Camarines Norte, 0.67 percent; and Naga City, 0.65 percent.

Other schools divisions in the region recorded the following dropouts: Catanduanes, 0.50 percent; Iriga City, 0.49 percent; Tabaco City, 0.39 percent; Masbate City, 0.30 percent; Legazpi City, 0.30 percent; Sorsogon, 0.27 percent; Albay, 0.13 percent; and Ligao City, 0.12 percent.

In the secondary level, Camarines Norte recorded the highest dropout rate last school year which was pegged at 5.88 percent.

Camarines Sur followed with 5.21 percent; Masbate, 4.66 percent; Sorsogon, 4.47 percent; and Catanduanes, 4.02 percent.

The early registration program, Abcede said, provides DepEd information that will allow it to introduce appropriate interventions that help lessen the rate of dropout from Grade 6 to high school.

If the graduating Grade 6 pupil fails to register during the early registration, this is already a sign that the he or she may not enroll in high school, he said.

When this happens, the secondary school head will have to check with the elementary school head the reasons for non-registration.

School officials will then have to coordinate with parents and barangay officials to ensure that school-age students are kept in school.

The division offices of the DepEd will mobilize school communities and use all means of communication in order to reach even those students of high school age who have stopped schooling after completing their elementary education, Abcede added. (PNA)



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