GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Almost one million pupils and students in Region 12 trooped to various public schools on Monday for the formal opening of classes of school year 2015-2016.
Dr. Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd) Region 12 director, said the figure was based on the feedback they received from principals and administrators of the region’s 2,142 public elementary and secondary schools.
“The turn out, so far, is very high and based on the reports from our monitors, our schools have opened very early and the atmosphere is very festive,” he said.
Farnazo said the regional office dispatched all its personnel as well as those of the region’s nine school division offices to monitor and observe the opening of classes.
He led the inspection at the General Santos City National High School (GSCNHS) in Barangay Calumpang that is considered as the biggest high school in the region.
As of 7 a.m., he said around 8,700 of the 9,400 students enrolled at the school or about 93 percent have reported for the first day of classes.
In the entire Region 12, Farnazo said their records showed that 1,080,788 pupils and students have enrolled in public schools and were expected to show up on the first day of school.
Region 12, which is also known as Soccsksargen, is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
The number of students is expected to reach around 1.3 million with the formal opening of classes in local private schools next week.
“I’m happy with what I’ve seen so far. Our schools are ready and our school children are also ready for the start of their classes. This situation is indicative of the preparations that we had made, especially during the Brigada Eskwela,” he said.
When compared to the previous years, Farnazo said public schools in the region appeared to have prepared better for this school year’s opening.
For their monitoring activities, the official said they are currently focusing on ensuring that all classes will proceed with the first lesson of the new school year.
At the GSCNHS, Farnazo observed some of the classes and inspected the lesson plans of some teachers.
“This is to ensure and convey a strong message that we are serious in our earlier pronouncements that we will have our lesson one on day one of our classes,” he said.
“As we face school year 2015-206, I have so much faith in our personnel. No child should be left behind and all children of school-age should be in school and learning. This is our commitment,” he added.