At least 188,398 pupils and 51,200 students flock back to public schools tomorrow as the school 2015-2016 starts.
Department of Education (DepEd)-Bohol OIC-chief for Schools Governance and Operations Division Desiderio Deligero, however, explained more had enlisted during the Brigada Eskwela last week and public schools still accept late enrollees in the first week of June.
The figures is based on the turnout of the early registration.
There used to be 202,351 pupils last year which DepEd-Bohol expected to increase by at least two percent this school year.
For high school, there used to be 74,807 students in the list and DepEd-Bohol will have to track down the remaining 23,607.
Deligero said district supervisors have been instructed to mobilize school heads to check and monitor the schools and to do quick count of actual students returning to school in the first week of classes in their areas.
By second week of June, DepEd-Bohol would be able to release the final figures based on the quick count of students and pupils.
DepEd-Bohol supervises 1,094 public schools–932 elementary and 162 high schools.
DepEd-Bohol also noted on the decrease of drop-outs as a result of theÂ AmomaÂ program that stands forÂ Alayon, Giya, Amoma Alang sa KalampusanÂ implemented starting last year.
Under the program, each teacher has been tasked to support one pupil or student who have the tendency of dropping out. The teachers guide the students to pursue school and finish the school year.
The teachers assist them in their studies, provide them school supplies and shoulder their contributions in school if needed.
Corresponding to the number of teachers, there are around 8,000 schoolchildren spared from dropping out.
Indeed, the record shows that those at risk of dropping out finished the entire school year and have been promoted to the next levelâ€”none of them retained in the same level.
DepEd-Bohol also made sure the teachers could already proceed with the formal classroom setting upon the opening of the school year, as the repairs and cleaning of the classrooms had been undertaken during the Brigada Eskwela on May 18-22 with support of the stakeholders.
DepEd-Bohol also implements Oplan Balik Eskwela since last week of May to the first week of June to address concerns that crop up during the enrolment period, aiming that all schoolchildren are ready for the opening of classes on Monday.
DepEd-Bohol sent teams to man the Oplan Balik Eskwela information action center that addresses the enrolment concerns.
The usually problem met during enrolment is the lack of documents like the report card of the schoolchildren, birth certificate that is needed upon entering Grade 1.
Deligero said DepEd-Bohol makes sure that from start correct, the correct spelling of names are indicated in the school records, to avoid the usual problems wherein spelling of names become a problem when the schoolchildren reach the higher level.
The National Statistics Office (NSO) has been strict on the spelling names, DepEd-Bohol requires the birth certificates of new pupils. For the transferees, the schools require the certification from the principal of the previous school attended by the student that they are cleared for transfer to another school.
Deligero also emphasized that no contribution should be made a requisite for enrolment, and maybe the contributionâ€”if neededâ€”would be collected when classes are still ongoing and not during the enrolment period.
SOLVING LACK OF CLASSROOMS,
Other preparation for the school year included the repair and construction of classrooms.
Deligero said 623 new classrooms had been finished already and are ready for use upon the opening of classes.
The 623 new classrooms are among the 1,260 classrooms recommended for replacement after being damaged by the earthquake.
DepEd and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also attend to the ongoing projects allocated with funds by the national office.
This includes the repair of 985 classrooms, of which 25 percent have been completed, and works on the 75 percent is ongoing.
Deligero said they targeted to be complete the repair of classrooms within the year.
DepEd just had a problem on the availability of construction materials in the past months and the lack of carpenters, especially during the fiesta month of May wherein the carpenters prioritized the repair of their own houses.
Maybe in the following months, the repair of classrooms could be back in pace as the fiesta month is over, Deligero said.
Though the problem on the lack of classrooms has already been minimized, some schools still have to hold classes in temporary learning centers or makeshift classrooms.
This applies to schools that are still unsafe for holding classes, and those recommended for transfer of sites based on the findings of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau (MGB).
MORE TEACHERS NEEDED
DepEd-Bohol needs additional teachers to meet the standard student-teacher ratio, for the primary schools that have been converted to intermediate schools or elementary school, and for the new schools.
As of now, DepEd-Bohol still await new allocation from the national office.
In the previous school year, DepEd already had the exact number of teachers allocated for Bohol by the approach of the opening of classes.
Just like in the past year, DepEd still authorized the local government units (LGUs) to hire locally-paid teachers in their towns if needed.
The LGUs just have to certify that they have the funds for the purpose, and school authorities will justify the need for additional teachers.
In the previous year, DepEd hired around 100 locally-paird teachers for elementary and high schools wherein the provincial government provided funds.
Deligero cited the expansion of classes in the barangays as one factor for the need of more teachers.
Some primary schools that only offer up to Grade 4 have applied for expansion to become elementary schools to offer up to Grade 6, especially those located far from the next barangay school.
DepEd-Bohol approved the request of six schools for conversion from primary to elementary school which need additional teachers.
This included Badiang Elementary School in Inabanga, one in Cainsican in under Inabanga-South district, San Jose Elementary School in San Miguel, and Calvario Elementary School in Loay.
There are also requests for expansion in Malayo Norte in Cortes, in Puerto San Pedro in Bien Unido-that is offering up to Grade 2 and is requesting to offer up to Grade 4.
The request from Loboc for a SPED center is also waiting approval.
The expansion of schools needs additional teachers and facilities, and for these, the school officials concerned indicated in their application the availability of temporary or makeshift classrooms and that the LGUs are ready to support their initial operation.
In addition, there are new high schools to offer Grade 7 or first year level starting this school yearâ€”one is Nan-od High School in a far-flung area of Sierra-Bullones, one the Don Aguido Reyes Memorial National High School in Villa Teresita, Ubayâ€”to start with 70 Grade 7 students this school year.
High schools that opened last year, starting with the first year level now offer the second year level and they the school officials followed up the approval for them to be able to offer third year and fourth year.
One of them is in Bilangbilangan Dako in an island in Bien Unido that used to be in Hingotanan.
Last year, DepEd-Bohol opened Ponciano Padin National High School that is now requesting for expansion.
To address the shortage of teachers, locally-paid teachers are hired and the LGU concerned will shoulder the initial operation cost of the school while awaiting appropriation from national office, according to Deligero.