DepEd says Davao region 97% K-12 ready, but…

Subscribe Now May 20, 2015 at 01:08pm

The Department of Education in the region is 97% ready for the full implementation of the Senior High School (SHS) in public schools in 2016-2017 but teachers are questioning where the department based its readiness.

Dr. Luzminda O. Onor, DepEd-XI chair of K to 12 program, said Grade 10 teachers in the region have all been trained and have the capacity to handle the enhanced curriculum under the said grade level.

Onor said the public teachers have undergone training the whole summer to prepare them for the last year level of the Junior High School.

Elenito Escalante, chairperson of Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Davao Region Union, and a high school teacher from Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School confirmed that they have started the training early this month.

But Escalante said he is not sure where DepEd based their observations that the department is ready for K-12.

“Ambot unsa ang basis nila nganong ilang giingon nga 97 percent ready na ang Region 11? Or ang entero nasud sa K-12 (I don’t know what their basis is why they say Region 11 or the whole country is ready for K-12),” Escalante said.

Escalante said a campus for the Senior High School program of one of the big schools in Davao City has not yet started construction in Sandawa.

“We are not sure though if the budget is ready because more or less, 30 classrooms will be constructed there,” Escalante said.

Escalante refers to one of the stand alone SHS in Davao City which will be built separately and outside their original schools.

Three stand alone SHS have been identified here including Davao City National High School, Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School and Sta. Ana National High School.

Onor said these are the schools with more than 5,000 population. She said almost all public secondary schools in the region are allowed to put up SHS.

Onor also said 43 private schools were already given probationary permits to operate SHS.

“We are not sure if that will be available at the start of the school year. We only have a year left before senior high school program starts,” Escalante said citing that they have around 1,300 students for senior in DRANHS.

“Let’s say less than 10 public schools will offer SHS in Davao City, we see that it will not be enough and the students will be forced to go to private schools offering SHS,” Escalante said.

DepEd–XI regional director Atty. Alberto Escobarte said the K to 12 Program offers an SHS Voucher Program to support public school Grade 10 students who cannot be accommodated in public SHS or want to enroll in private SHS.

Escobarte said the Voucher Program provides about P20,000 assistance as subsidy from DepEd per student to offset the cost of tuition in the private SHS.

“This strategy is more viable, than creating new schools for the SHS,” he said.

But Escalante said the subsidy given by the government for those who will enroll in private schools is still a “let’s see scenario”.

“Tan-awon pa ni kung mosuffice ang subsidy nga gihatag sa private schools (We are yet to find out if the subsidy given to private schools will suffice),” he said citing that private high school have higher tuition rates.

Leah Camilotes, principal of Tacunan High School said they also plan to offer senior high school with technical-vocational courses on cookery and electrical but lamented that they lack classrooms and facilities.

“We only have one gas range, mao lang gyud na ang amoang pag-aari (that’s all we have),” Camilotes said adding they also lack large tables for the cookery subject.

Camilotes said it will be difficult for the students to get a hands-on experience when they lack facilities. She said they estimated that around 90 female students will take cookery and the ideal ratio should be one gas range to five students.

Camilotes said the subject in the electrical course requires tools such as multi-testers, pliers, screwdrivers, long nose pliers, steel tapes and others which they do not have.

She said their incoming Grade 10 students at the opening of classes in June will start to use these facilities.

“What will happen then is that the teachers will provide the tools needed,” she said.

Camilotes said they have already requested the materials and that they only hope their request will be granted.

Tacunan High School pegs their enrolees to reach around 600 students. The school has only eight classrooms. Camilotes said the barangay officials has already pledged to construct additional three classrooms.

“Hopefully we will be able to use this makeshift classrooms during the opening of classes,” Camilotes said.

Camilotes said the makeshift classrooms might also end up to be their laboratory for their cookery and electrical classes.


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