Gatchalian flags DepEd: More SHS students enrolled but ‘still far from ideal’ | Inquirer News

Gatchalian flags DepEd: More SHS students enrolled but ‘still far from ideal’

By: - Reporter / @BPinlacINQ
/ 11:41 AM April 25, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — While the number of students enrolled in senior high school is increasing, it remains “far from the ideal.”

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, head of the upper chamber’s basic education panel, said this on Tuesday at the committee hearing on the proposed measure to ensure that K to 12 graduates are well-equipped to enter the workforce.

DepEd Information Systems Analyst Ariel Tandingan touted the rising enrollment rate in senior high school in the hearing.


Gatchalian flags DepEd: More SHS students enrolled but ‘still far from ideal’

However, Gatchalian argued: “Although it is increasing – the participation rate, it is still far from the ideal.”

He pointed out that there are still around two million students aged 16 to 18 – believed to be the age range for senior high school students – who are not attending school.

“Even if we have a good trend…it’s still a challenge for us to bring the 68 percent to 100 percent. I just want to flag the department on this matter because senior high school is really something that will enable our youth to be work-ready and college-ready,” the senator added.

Gatchalian pointed out that some of them could have probably started working early, while others may have left school due to the country’s perennial problem with adolescent pregnancies.

“A lot of our female students drop out and start their own families. But then again, this is a challenge to the government. It should be the goal of the government to have a 100 percent participation rate. Of course, that would be a challenge. But at least, make it to at least 90 or 100 percent participation rate,” he noted.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, teenage pregnancies among Filipino women aged 15 to 19 declined from 8.6 percent in 2017 to 5.4 percent in 2022.


This, it noted, translates to a total of 5,531 pregnant teens in 2022.

READ: Numbers fall but PH teen pregnancies persist, mirror economic, learning gaps

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The Commission on Population and Development said this brings economic losses to the country of at least P33 billion annually.

READ: Teenage pregnancies: P35B annual PH loss, other costs

TAGS: DepEd, Gatchalian, High School, K to 12, Students

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