57,000 senior high school enrollees expected next school year in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/01 July) — Around 57,000 students in Region 12 are expected to enroll in the next school year in the senior high school program of public schools in the region.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, Department of Education (DepEd) Region 12 director, said such figure was based on the projected number of students in parts of the region that are likely to proceed to the senior high school by June 2016.

He assured that local public schools are now ready for the full rollout of the program next year, especially in terms of the needed resources.

The construction of classrooms and related facilities as well as the hiring of additional teachers are currently ongoing in all nine school divisions in the area.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

“The basic education sector in the region has paved the road and all its gears are ready in line with the implementation of the senior high school program,” Farnazo said in a statement.

The official said they have also set in place the requirements for the management the senior high schools, specifically the policies, assessments and resources plans.

In terms of resources, he said they have proposed for the construction in school year 2016-2017 of an additional 6,577 classrooms and laboratories and the hiring of 3,565 teachers.

The senior high school program is a component of the government’s flagship K to 12 education initiative, which was set for full implementation next year.

The program, which was first implemented by DepEd in 2012, provides an additional two years to the country’s basic education program. It is set for full implementation in 2016.

It covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education, comprising six years of primary education, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.

Farnazo said the program aims to achieve a “holistically developed Filipino with 21st century skills.”

Such could be made possible through its 31 subjects, which are composed of 15 core subjects and 16 track based subjects, he said.

The core subjects are language, science, philosophy, social science, mathematics, communication, humanities, physical education and health.

The track subjects are academic, technical-vocational (tech-voc) and livelihood, sports, and arts and design.

Farnazo said that based on their assessment, 46 percent of the target senior high school enrollees next year indicated in tech-voc, followed by academic tracks with 43 percent, sports with 6 percent, and arts and design with 5 percent.

In terms of occupational interest, he added that most of the targeted learners in the area expressed interest in agriculture, aesthetics and mechanical fields. (MindaNews)