Low enrollment seen for Senior High School, Grade 11

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Happy elementary students of Lea B. Basquinas, teacher of Upper Bonga Elementary School, Bacacay, Albay. The absence of Basquinas would mean for them more time for playing, however, they said; "We missed our teacher". Basquinas, according to her Principal, is "one of the best teachers" of the school and highly skilled when it come to computer. PHOTO BY ELMER JAMES BANDOL
BICOLTODAY.COM File Photo

QUEZON CITY, 13June2016 (BicolToday.com) – Department of Education’s (DepEd) “child-finding” activities, or the door-to-door campaign to encourage students to enroll in Senior High School underscores and confirms the expected low enrollment in Grade 11, Kabataan Partylist said Saturday.

Kabataan Partylist earlier estimated that about a million Grade 10 completers will not continue to Grade 11, the first of the two-year Senior High School program under the K-12 curriculum.

On Friday, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro admitted that only about 500,000 students have already enrolled in Grade 11, or just a third of the estimated 1.5 million Grade 11 enrollees.

In a press conference, Kabataan Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago said that DepEd’s “child-finding” activity may be a last-ditch attempt to somewhat surmount the low enrollment figures reported in the past week.

“What DepEd isn’t recognizing is the fact that the additional years of schooling under the K-12 program is a huge economic burden that many Filipino families simply cannot afford. The door-to-door enrollment campaign signals the high no-show or drop-out rate that we’ll be witnessing come Monday,” Elago said.

“The low enrollment in Senior High School only shows how great a burden K-12 is for students and their families. Imagine a minimum wage earner suddenly facing the problem of enrolling his or her child to a private school because of the way K-12 was set up,” Elago said.

The lady solon added that even DepEd’s “SHS voucher program” has apparently failed to persuade students to enroll.

“DepEd is saying that there are vouchers and subsidies for students, so don’t worry. But the truth of the matter is these vouchers cover P11,000 to P22,000 of a student’s school fees. For students forced to enroll in private schools due to the lack of public senior high schools in their area, this means they still have to shell out money, since many schools charge upward of P30,000 in tuition and other school fees,” Elago explained.

“DepEd continues to brandish the K-12 program as an end-all solution to improve basic education. Yet with the low enrollment rate we’re witnessing, we can clearly see that the program is only pushing students to drop out of school,” Elago said.

“Kumbaga kung wala ang K-12, sana high school graduates na ang mga estudyanteng ito. Pero ngayon, high school drop-outs na lamang ang karamihan sa kanila,” Elago pointed out.

“When classes begin on Monday, we will undoubtedly witness K-12 horror stories. No amount of ‘child-finding’ can hide how this program has forced thousands of students to drop out,” Elago said. [BicolToday.com]

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