R-12 schools set early listing of incoming high school freshmen, Grade 1 pupils

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 November) – In a bid to increase participation rate and reduce the number of dropouts among students in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao, public and private schools in the region will launch anew an early registration for incoming first year high school students and grade one pupils by June 2011.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd)-Region 12 director, said Tuesday they issued advisories to all secondary and elementary school in the region to start their preparations for the conduct of the early registration, which was based on DepEd Order No. 62.

He said the early registration is mainly aimed at obtaining the initial enrollment data for the next school year and identify students and pupils who are already opting to drop out or quit schooling for various reasons.

“We want to establish these figures as early as possible so we can map out more effective interventions, especially in terms of addressing problems on dropouts, declining participation rates and the allocation of available school resources,” Farnazo said.

Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong Kidapawan and Cotabato.

Citing provisions of Deped Order 62, the official said all public schools in Region 12 will process the registration of all incoming grade one pupils and first year students without the payment of any fee.

He said DepEd has directed the “automatic registration” of all continuing second to fourth year students in the secondary level and grades two to six pupils.

The early registration scheme was included in DepEd’s approved school calendar for this year that states: “In January, schools shall conduct aggressive recruitment and early registration of incoming learners, i.e. Grade One, in the case of grade school; and First Year students, in the case of high school. Special attention shall be given to those learners with special needs and those at-risk of not going to school. Early interventions shall be provided to those at-risk of dropping out.”

Under DepEd Order 62, which was issued in 2008 by then education secretary Jesli Lapus, incoming students may register in the private schools of their choice within the designated Saturdays of January.

It cited that the early registration scheme was pursuant to DepEd’s thrust to increase participation rate in basic education and enable school heads as to who among the prospective graduates of Grade Six are at risk of dropping out.

The identified students will be the target clientele of the Dropout Reduction Program (DORP) through the Open High School, DepEd said.

“The DOs (DepEd’s Division Offices) are advised to mobilize the school communities and to utilize all means of communication in order to reach even those students of high school age who have stopped schooling after their elementary education,” it said.

A DepEd study earlier noted that only 66 of 100 pupils who enroll in grade one are able to continue and finish grade six while only 58 of them eventually enroll in high schools.

“I think we can effectively address the problems with our dropouts and participation rate by establishing the facts and getting actual data about them much earlier,” Farnazo said.

He said they will use the data obtained from the scheduled early registration for the continuing mapping in various schools of dropout cases and related problems.

With the early registration, Farnazo said school heads and teachers will already have an idea as early as January who among their students and pupils would need more attention to ensure that they remain in school and continue their studies and provide early interventions to those who are opting to quit their studies due to poverty and other related problems.

During the last two years, he said public school teachers in the area had been using the early registration records in finding the whereabouts of students who registered but later failed to enroll.

DepEd officials in the region had been encouraging teachers to even conduct house to house visits to make sure that all their students would enroll and continue with their schooling. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)