|Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC|
The Department of Education (DepEd) has enjoined the education stakeholders in the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to encourage Grade 10 completers to enroll in the Senior High School in June 2016, noting that there are only 19,658 early registrants out of the target 28,915 students.
“Look for those Grade 10 students who have not enrolled yet in SHS,” Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said.
Luistro made the pitch during the K to 12 Summit held recently at the Notre Dame of Jolo College where hundreds of education stakeholders—students from public and private schools, parents, teachers, and school division superintendents pledged their support for the full implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
“My trip here is actually a vote for Mindanao. Dahil sa palagay ko po, hindi uusad ang Pilipinas kung hindi natin kasabay susulong ang Mindanao lalo na sa larangan ng edukasyon,” Luistro pointed out.
He added that the government will aid Grade 10 completers who will pursue SHS in a non-DepEd school through the SHS Voucher Program.
Starting School Year 2016-2017, the SHS Voucher Program will subsidize the school fees of students who completed Grade 10 in public and private schools, if they enroll in a non-DepEd school licensed to offer SHS. The voucher is accepted in private high schools, State Universities and Colleges/Local Universities and Colleges, and Technical and Vocational Schools.
Luistro also noted the gap between the number of children who enroll and those who complete schooling in elementary and secondary education in the ARMM.
According to Luistro, out of 636,000 enrollees in 2014, about 35.28% or 224,000 completed their elementary education. In the same year, around 72,476 students or almost half of the 148,000 enrollees completed their secondary education.
“This is our mission: that the enrollment and completion rate in Sulu must be at the same level. This is because our overall target is that no Filipino learner must be left behind. That is what we must all achieve together,” Luistro said.
Luistro added that education is not only done through formal schooling, emphasizing that DepEd has other programs that provide alternative options to existing formal instruction, such as the Alternative Learning System (ALS).
Managed by ALS learning facilitators, the ALS education is delivered outside the classroom, usually conducted at community learning centers, barangay multi-purpose hall, libraries, or at home.
“We need to strengthen our ALS program and provide more mobile teachers to reach out to more students and embrace them in our program,” Luistro explained.