DepEd-Region 11 admits first year of K-12 might be difficult

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 June) – The Department of Education (Deped) in Davao Region said it could not assure a smooth implementation of the K-12 program this year even if the schools are ready for the opening of classes on June 13.

“We are ready for the opening of classes. We do that every year so we know the potential situation we’d face. It’s quite exciting and suspenseful as far as the senior high school is concerned since it’s our first time to make it happen. We will not say that we will be very successful [in] one year of operation,” Deped-Davao spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said in mixed English and Cebuano in Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Monday.

He admitted that the first year of K-12 would still be experimental. “We are just starting. The first year will always be the guinea pig.”

He said they are projecting a total of 1,109,874 enrollees for the school year 2016-2017. Of the number, 814,767 are elementary pupils and 295,107 are secondary students.

Based on Deped-Davao’s records, the region has a total of 1,630 public elementary schools, 303 public secondary schools, 527 private elementary schools, and 261 private secondary schools.

Atillo admitted the additional two years in high school is a burden but encouraged parents to look at the benefits like making their children job-ready after the six year-program.

He said the graduates of senior high school would obtain national certificates which they can use to in getting technical jobs.

Outside the new curriculum, the students will still have to enroll in any program of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to obtain national certificates, he explained.

“The additional two years is financial calvary. You have to spend for fare, food, clothes, and everything but please look at the offerings of the senior high school. The return of investments for the education of the children will amount to something that will give them, if they would complete senior high school, a national certificate,” he said.

He urged the people to embrace the K-12 and give this new curriculum a try.

“Ang problema (the problem is) we are too much afraid of the dark and we already surmise the kinds of demons na wala diay (that are nonexistent),” he said, alluding to people’s perceptions of the program.

Deped-Davao also offered vouchers for upcoming senior high school students who wanted to study in private high schools, colleges and universities, as well as in state universities and colleges, and technical and vocational schools.

Applications, however, had closed last May 6.

The voucher “enables a discount or a reduction from the cost of tuition and other fees charged by a non-Deped senior high school where he or she will enroll. The voucher subsidy is not given to students directly in the form of cash but will be disbursed by Deped to non-Deped SHS where he or she enrolls.” (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)