DepEd shortage

Published by rudy Date posted on May 26, 2011

MANILA, Philippines — There’s an acute shortage of almost everything at the Department of Education (DepEd).

Education Secretary Armin Luistro revealed that for the school year 2011-2012, DepEd needs 101, 612 teachers; 135,847 comfort rooms; 66,800 classrooms; and 2,573 chairs.

Based on 2010 inventory of DepEd, elementary public schools have 456,067 classrooms, 509,637 teachers, 15,960,353 seats, and 316,112 toilets.

DepEd and the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) revealed that the quality of education in the country continues to deteriorate, citing the declining achievement rates among elementary and high school students as well as the large unemployment and underemployment rates among college graduates.

During the National Education Forum in Makati, Luistro and CHEd Chairman Patricia Licuanan presented to other education leaders, lawmakers, business leaders, and other education stakeholders the current state of basic and tertiary education in the country. Also present was Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva who gave an update about the state of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

The forum – which gathered education stakeholders – was conducted in an effort to find solutions to perennial problems in basic education, tertiary as well as the TVET.

Through graphs, Luistro bared the steady decline in achievement rates of elementary and high school students across the country in the previous years. In one graph, the DepEd chief showed a downward trend which represents the achievement levels and survival rates of students.

The National Achievement Tests (NAT) results from 2005 to 2010, said Luistro, showed a declining achievement level of elementary and high school students. The NAT results of high school students from in the last five years, he said, also showed that the mean percentage score (MPS) of students dropped from school year 2007-08, which posted an MPS of 49.26 percent, to 47.40 percent in 2008-09, and down to 46.30 percent in 2009 to 2010.

“For the elementary achievement test results, negligible gains were made with low MPS results of 64.81 percent in 2007-08, 66.33 percent in 2008 to 2009, and 69.21 percent in 2009 to 2010,” Luistro explained.

He added that the cohort survival rate or the percentage of students also declined from 2007 to 2010. “For the elementary school level, the cohort survival rate went from 75.26 percent in 2007-08 to 75.39 percent in 2008-09, and back down to 74.38 percent in 2009 to 2010,” Luistro stressed. Meanwhile, for the high school level, the cohort survival rate went from 79.91 percent in 2007-08, 79.73 in 2008-09, and down to 78.44 percent in 2009 to 2010.

Also in the presentation titled “Upgrading Solutions, Transforming Education,” Luistro gave an update of the statistics for the coming school year. Based on initial assessment, 22 million students – 1,931,550 in pre-school; 14,251,587 in elementary; and 5,849,003 in high school – are expected to troop to 59,045 schools nationwide. Almost four million students are also expected to enroll in private pre-schools, elementary and high schools.

With the approved budget this year which is P207.3 billion – a total of P11.3 billion will be allocated for at least 9,000 classrooms, seats, and sanitation facilities while P2.3 billion for creation of 10,000 teacher items.

The highlight of Luistro’s presentation was the Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program which is considered as a “big leap” in the basic education system. DepEd will start implementing the program this June through the Universal Kindergarten Program where a total of 1.9 million – out of the 2.4 million five year olds – will benefit from the program.

DepEd’s proposed model called “K-6-4-2” – which involves kindergarten, six years of elementary education, four years of junior high school or Grades seven to 10, and two years of senior high school or Grades 11 to 12 – will help the quality of education in the country to be at par with global standards and to be able to produce employable high school graduates said Luistro.

This April, Luistro announced that the K+12 program was able to get 78 percent support from various education stakeholders based on the regional consultations. The curriculum review and formulation, he added, is ongoing. “The study on economic impact of additional two years and the draft legislation for inclusion in Presidential Legislative Agenda are also on the way,” the DepEd chief said.

Licuanan also acknowledged the deteriorating quality of higher education which she said can be attributed to the critical areas of concern, including the lack of overall vision, framework, and plan for higher education; and the limited access to quality higher education.

To address the deteriorating quality of higher education, Licuanan said there’s a great need to rationalize higher education, improve quality and standards and increase access to quality higher education.

“To rationalize higher education, it should be aligned with National Development Goals; HEIs typology should be developed; HEIs and Programs should be mapped; the moratorium on new HEIs and programs should be implemented; Public and Private HEIs to level the playing field should be harmonized and credentials of faculty should be rationalized,” she said.

Villanueva, on the other hand, expressed support to the K+12 program, saying “it will make technical vocational education a staple for high school students, giving our youth the chance to develop their potentials in the early stage of schooling.”

The TESDA chief said that the global imperative for more jobs and more productive jobs is a major challenge for development, and workers’ skills are at the core of improving individuals’ employment outcomes and increasing countries’ productivity and growth. –INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT, Manila Bulletin

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