DepEd-Bukidnon to use modular classes to cut dropout rate

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/27 January) – The Department of Education in Bukidnon plans to open alternative delivery mode (ADM) classes to address the high dropout rate in selected schools in Bukidnon in June 2012.

Dr. Ingrid Racoma, DepEd-Bukidnon chief, told MindaNews that in an agricultural province like Bukidnon, a lot of high school students, for example, are forced to be absent and eventually drop out every time the planting season comes.

She added that the high school dropout rate of 7 percent and 2 percent in the elementary is already high considering that not all school age children are in school.

Racoma said they have initiated the preparatory stage for the ADM, which makes use of modular self-instructional materials (SIMs) to address the problem of habitual or seasonal absenteeism and those living in conflict and disaster-prone areas.

She added that at the classroom level there is a need to identify the reasons behind absenteeism unlike in the past when teachers automatically indicate as cause the sickness of children.

“We have to go beyond by asking the reasons for absenteeism so we can address the real problem,” she added. The ADM is a component of the department’s dropout reduction program (DORP).

She added that they trained an initial core of teacher-facilitators in Talakag and Sinuda schools districts, who in turn are training other teachers from other districts.

The two areas were singled out due to problems of absenteeism as an effect of peace and order problem in Talakag and the attitude of parents towards education in Sinuda.

Racoma added that they will start the Modified In-school Off-School Approach, which was originally a scheme to address the problem of congestion and teachers’ shortage and the limitations in other resources such as instructional materials.

But she admitted that they still need to see if there is enough number of students qualified for the scheme before they can open sections under ADM.

Racoma also added that they welcomed the participation of the International Labor Organization, which is supporting different interventions to eliminate child labor in the province. “The reduction of child laborers would also mean more children back in school,” she added. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)