Look into ‘alarming’ decrease in enrolees in BARMM, DepEd urged
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) should look into the “alarming” decline in the number of student enrolees for this school year in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), senators said Wednesday.
Data from DepEd shown during the hearing of the Senate committee on basic education, arts, and culture shows that there is a 30 percent decrease in the number of enrolees in BARMM compared to previous school year.
These numbers are “alarming,” said Senator Nancy Binay.
“For me, very alarming ‘yung 30 percent sa BARMM. Baka maganda din pag-aralan ng DepEd kung ano talaga yung tunay na dahilan kung bakit ganun kalaki,” Binay said.
“I don’t think it would be dahil sa COVID dahil alam naman natin na hindi katulad sa NCR (National Capital Region) ‘yung case ng BARMM. So baka maganda na tingnan din kung ano ‘yung peculiarities kung bakit hindi nakapag-enroll itong mga kabataan natin sa BARMM,” she added.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian likewise pointed out the “serious problem” in the decrease in enrollment in BARMM.
“BARMM is having serious problems when it comes to enrollment, 30 percent decrease in enrollment, in fact it’s double the amount of the next region which is Region 9. I would like to flag the attention of DepEd, of course, BARMM has its own regional ministry of education but it’s working in tandem with the Department of Education,” Gatchalian said.
“This is a serious problem because we all know BARMM is the poorest region in the country, it also has the highest poverty incidence as well as hunger incidence and a decrease of 30 percent in enrollment is going to create inter-generational problems or inter-generational poverty,” he added.
DepEd Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan said they will heed to the call of the senators to look into the decline of enrollees in the region.
“We will do that to give special attention and as I mentioned, they are part of our management committee, they are represented in our management committee and we will make that special agenda as suggested by the senators,” Malaluan said.
Malaluan added that there is a lot of resources and assistance from development agencies that can be leveraged to assist students in BARMM.
BARMM is not the sole region in the country that reported a decline in the number of enrollees this school year as of September 14.
Region IX reported a 16 percent decline, the NCR and Calabarzon at 12 percent, Region III at 11 percent, Region X and Cordillera Administrative Region at 10 percent, and Caraga Administrative Region at nine percent.
Region XI also reported a decline in enrollees of eight percent, Regions V and VIII at seven percent, Regions VII and VI at six percent, Mimaropa and Region I at five percent, Region XII at three percent, and Region II at two percent.
Classes for school year 2020-2021 will begin in October after it was moved from its initial schedule of August 24.
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