• It’s back to school for 25-M students


    SOME twenty-five million public elementary and high school students nationwide are expected to return to school on Monday, June 13, for the school opening.

    Of the 25 million students, 1 million are Senior High School’s (SHS) Grade 11, while the remaining 24 million are Kindergarten to Grade 10 learners, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said on Friday.

    Debunking the claims of the militant youth groups that only 303,722 students are currently enrolled in public senior high schools three days before the school opening, Luistro noted that there will be more than a million students attending Grade 11 schools nationwide in both public and private senior high schools when classes re-open on Monday.

    The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier estimated that around 1.3 million Grade 10 completers will enroll in Grade 11, as the nationwide implementation of the first batch of senior high school’s Grade 11 begins on June 13.

    “The encoded enrollees of Grade 11 students in the DepEd database are at 509,000 as of 10 a.m. this [Friday] morning. Of the 11,000 senior high schools, only around half have submitted their list of enrollees,” Luistro added.

    “I am not worried about the enrollment more than the technical challenges we are facing in our first-ever online enrollment system,” the outgoing education secretary noted.

    Luistro said he hopes that a full report on the enrollment statistics will be out next week as long as there is no technical glitches that could delay in the transmission of data from the regions.

    Luistro also said that so far there is no problem on the learners’ module as he assured that all schools will have the needed materials before the start of classes.

    “On learners’ module, initial partial delivery has started last Thursday. All our materials are digitized and we will be uploaded in the DepEd portal easy access by our schools and field offices,” he said.

    “While delivery is ongoing, the Department has prepared three weeks of lesson plans/ daily log sheets for the first three weeks of class. These have been available for the field to reproduce since last Friday,” he added, stressing that there is also sufficient number of textbooks for the students for this school year.

    Luistro earlier said that are more classrooms for incoming Grade 11 students.

    “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],” he said in an earlier interview.

    “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,” Luistro added.

    He also said that there are enough classrooms for students in the lower grade levels.

    “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.

    Meanwhile, the education department has also put up a help desk to assist senior high school students and parents who encounter concerns during the opening of classes.

    The help desk started its operations last May 23, with hotline number 667-1188.

    Aside from the hotline number, a toll-free number has been provided (1800-1888-6349) and an email account (shshelpdesk@deped.gov.ph) was activated and broadly communicated to the public.

    As of June 8, the help desk has received over a thousand cases — 937 calls and 71 emails.


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