It is the first day of classes and of the senior high school program. It is also the last class opening to be overseen by outgoing Education Secretary Armin Luistro, who will bow out of office with the Aquino administration on June 30.
What are the challenges that the DepEd, under the new administration, will face?
Jee Geronimo reports.
JEE GERONIMO, REPORTING: "The best school opening thus far." This is how Education Secretary Armin Luistro describes the first day of classes, which coincides with the full implementation of the senior high school program
After 3 years of visiting far-flung areas, Luistro goes back to Metro Manila for his last opening of classes. He visits 3 senior high schools in Navotas, Malabon, and Quezon City.
Despite early registration, the education department reports only 530,000 public senior high school enrollees as of Monday – fewer than the 1.3 million target.
Critics worry about higher dropout rates due to senior high school. Luistro himself says dropouts could be anywhere between 200,000 to 400,000 students.
He has instructed education officials to go to every house and track these students while Incoming Education Secretary Leonor Briones is looking at expanding the department's Alternative Learning System to address this problem.
While admitting the country is not 100% ready for senior high school, Luistro says none of the problems they are seeing so far are too great to be overcome.
Jee Geronimo, Rappler, Manila. – Rappler.com