DepEd: 56 schools report zero dropout

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

EFFORTS of the Department of Education (DepEd) to reduce dropout rates are bearing positive results with 56 secondary schools across the country registering zero incidences of students quitting school.

Several schools, which achieved zero and less than one percent dropout rate are under the division of Romblon in Mimaropa; Agusan del Sur, Butuan City and Surigao City in Caraga Region; Urdaneta City and San Carlos City in Ilocos Region; Guimaras and Antique in Western Visayas; Leyte and Southern Leyte in Eastern Visayas.

"Efforts of the DepEd to significantly reduce drop-out rates among high school students are paying off," Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a press statement.


At present, DepEd is implementing dropout rate reduction programs in 1,117 secondary schools nationwide, which means five percent or 56 secondary schools have already achieved zero dropout rate.

Luistro attributed this to DepEd's Dropout Reduction Program (Dorp), which offers alternative delivery programs that aim to keep students in school and finish their basic education.

"Our end-goal is to retain the poorly schooled and those who are in danger of dropping out because of difficult social and economic situations and provide them quality education," Luistro said.

DepEd records show that the Dorp posted remarkable accomplishment, reducing the high school dropout rate, from 12.51 percent in 2005-2006 to 8.55 percent in SY 06-07; and even a lower 7.45 percent in SYs 07-08 and 08-09.

Luistro noted that some 40,000 students-at-risk of dropping out (Sardos) were saved.

"Imagine if there was no intervention, where would they be now?" he said.

Dorp intervention programs were designed to address the problems faced by students, which prevent them from completing their elementary and high school education. Many students cannot report to class regularly because of various reasons such as work, financial problems, physical handicap, family and health issues, among others.

The Open High School Program (OHSP) under Dorp is a distance education program that allows working students or previously out-of-school-youth (OSY) to continue studying using specialized learning modules.

The Effective Alternative Secondary Education (Ease), meanwhile, provides an innovative learning tool that allows students to pursue lessons outside school using modules.

Some children may have to be temporarily absent from class because of justifiable reasons such as natural calamity, farm harvest time, seasonal work or an illness. EASE which evolved from OHSP is recommended for learners whose absence in school is temporary while OHSP is for those who cannot really attend regular high school.

The Schools Initiated Interventions (SII) is the most effective help for Sardos since the school itself fits the kind of help a student needs according to his unique circumstances. The SII has enabled schools to determine, based on interview, specific problems of students or the real causes for dropping out.

"We first assess the situation of students based on the result of family, individual, community, or school assessment and design  a learning intervention that best respond to their needs," DepEd education program specialist and Dorp coordinator Prudencia Martinez-Sanoy said.

Meanwhile, Luistro appealed to private high schools to also adopt the program and help further reduce the drop-out rate.

DedEd expressed its commitment to give its full assistance to private high schools which would adopt Dorp.

"We will provide you the technologies, best practices and technical support you will need so that, together, we can reach out to learners who need intervention," Luistro said.

Luistro added that Deped is on track in meeting its Education For All (EFA) commitment to bring all learners to school by 2015.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 28, 2011.

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