EDUCATION Secretary Armin Luistro on Monday assured that there are enough classrooms for incoming Grade 11 students when classes start on June 13.
“We have at least 30,000 new classrooms ready for Grade 11 enrolees by June 13 not counting excess old classrooms that could also be used for SHS [Senior High School],” Luistro said in a text message.
“At 40 students per classrooms, we can accommodate 1.2 million Grade 11 students in DepEd schools. Some congested schools cannot accept all Grade 11 applicants but they will be referred to the nearest school with SHS offerings,” the outgoing Department of Education chief added.
Luistro urged the incoming Grade 11 students to enrol early because they cannot assure if they can still accept late enrolees.
“We appeal for Grade 11 completers to enrol now as schools have to prioritize the school and program preference of early enrolees before they can accommodate students who enrol late,” he said.
Luistro added that the Education department will provide financial assistance to public school students who may wish to enrol in private schools for SHS through the voucher system.
“Vouchers will also be available for students who will choose to enrol in SUCs [state universities and colleges], LUCs [local universities and colleges]or private schools many of which will not ask for top-ups and just rely on the voucher subsidy,” he said.
The voucher values in areas where the student is in (National Capital Region or Metro Manila, other highly-urbanized areas, other cities and municipalities) will range from a minimum of P8,750 to a maximum of P22,500.
Under the voucher system, the government enters into contractual arrangements with eligible private and non-DepEd schools to subsidize in whole or in part tuition and other fees of qualified students; through management contracts where the government enters into contractual arrangements with private and non-DepEd schools to manage the day-to-day operations of public schools; through forms of assistance under the “Adopt-a-School Program” or Republic Act 8525; or through other forms of financial arrangements under the principles of PPP [Public-Private Partnership].
Luistro said there will be no classroom shortage in the lower grade levels in the coming school opening.
‘We don’t expect any surge in enrolment or mass transfers of students from K-to-10 [Kindergarten to Grade 10], so we will be more than ready for them,” he added.
“In fact, the past year we have been concentrating on looking for available land and building new schools for those schools on two shifts so we can further decongest them. The K-to-12 program will be sufficiently provided for as spike in enrolment is not expected this year,” Luistro said.