More years in school seen chance for dropouts
SCIENCE CITY of Muñoz – Increasing the number of years children spend in school can also help out-of-school youths finish high school, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said here.
Luistro said that his department was planning to use the K-12 program, which increases the number of years children spend for elementary and high school to 12, as a tool to allow dropouts to finish high school in a year or two.
He said his department was also confident the number of teachers required for K-12 would be sufficient.
Part of the agenda of K-12, he said, was to turn dropouts into high school graduates.
“It is easy for us to make programs that can be tailored for the dropouts,” said Luistro during the inauguration of the city’s first online education building.
He said a program called Alternative Learning System (ALS) has been designed to allow dropouts, no matter how old they are, to complete high school.
The program, said Luistro, was designed with “so much flexibility that it allows students to hold classes under the house or trees or other places that suit them.”
This was exactly what the governor of Negros Occidental, Alfredo Marañon Jr., was protesting about.
He said students should have regular classrooms and the lack of facilities was one reason he doesn’t see the K-12 program succeeding.
The governor said what the Department of Education (DepEd) should have done was first improve the quality of teaching before increasing the number of years that students have to spend in school.
Addressing local government officials and village leaders here, Luistro said: “We need your help in this kind of program. Just give the profile or census of high school dropouts, street children [and] persons with disabilities, and we will reach them.”
“We don’t have problems of lack of classrooms and teachers in our public schools. In fact, we can still accommodate several [enrolling students] and the schools can still get along well,” he said.
DepEd expects 21 million students to troop back to school in June.
Luistro said the only problems that DepEd was anticipating are the lack of planning and the uneven distribution of students in elementary and high schools.
He appealed to parents to avoid congested public schools and seek other schools near their neighborhoods instead.
“They should not think of schools in the urban centers only. They should consider schools in rural areas [and consider these] as also the best schools for their children,” he said.
Luistro’s visit focused attention on a model school for online learning at the Muñoz Central School here built at a cost of P20 million by the city government. Anselmo Roque, Inquirer Central Luzon with a report by Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas
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