Senior high school enrollment still lags behind the expected turnout set by the Department of Education this school year.
DepEd prepared S.Y. 2016-2017 for the first batch of senior high school since the implementation of K-12 in school year 2012-2013 covering Grade 1 and Grade 7 enrollees who will be in Grade 5 and in Grade 11 this school year, respectively.
By 2018, DepEd will graduate the first batch of K-12 Grade 6 (for primary education) and Grade 12 (for high school).
Provincial Schools Division Superintendent Wilfreda Bongalos said only 73 percent of the targeted senior high school enrolment has been achieved at the opening of classes this school year.
According to Bongalos, only around 14,000 students enrolled for Grade 11, while the provincial schools division expected it to reach 19,000 students.
However, Bongalos considers the number as considerably high as a turnout as it surpassed 50 percent.
MANY PARENTS OBJECT TO K12
During the enrolment period in past weeks, majority of the parents objected to the implementation of K-12, citing among others, the additional years their children have to spend before finishing high school and proceed to college which also means additional expenses.
However, many of those who have children in private schools softened on their stand after being informed during the orientation yesterday in some private schools in the city that Grade 7 and Grade 8 students will have subsidy of P8,500 per student and Grade 9-10 students will also receive subsidy of P6,500.
Additional expenses has been the main concern of parents against the K-12 program, since not it entails additional budget for the tuition fees, but also on the board and lodging depending on the curriculum track the children choose.
On the other hand, Bongalos admitted that majority of the senior high school classes in public schools still have no definite classroom assignment yet.
For the meantime, Grade 11 teachers hold classes at the library, faculty room, covered court or the stage in some schools.
DepEd-Bohol targets to finish the construction of the classrooms good for 19,000 senior high school students by July or August.
Under the K-12 program, kindergarten is already required as pre-requisite for entering Grade 1, then primary education is from Grade 1 to Grade 6. The usual four years in high school is now considered junior high school; and to graduate high school, the student has to spend two more years for senior high school.
Those who favored the K-12 program from the start cited that one of the advantages is the high opportunity for K-12 graduates to land a job while going to college at same time.
They believe the basic education opens opportunities for K-12 graduates to immediately join the workforce and lessen the unemployment rate of the country with the option to enroll to higher level college education.
DepEd opened 471 slots for teachers of senior high school, while 15 DOST scholars also support senior high school teachers.
There are at least 129 public senior high schools across the province, according to Bongalos.