ANGELES CITY -- The Department of Education (DepEd) is pursuing all means to address school congestion especially in urbanized areas like Angeles City to prepare better for the opening of classes in June 2.

Using a system called the Expanded Analytical System for School Facilities, education managers in Angeles City found that only a few schools are very congested and many other schools are undersubscribed or have space to accommodate additional student enrollees. Further, they found that some students do not study in the schools nearest their residences. Public school heads are testing a referral system that directs parents and students to schools that are closer to their homes and have space to accommodate additional students.

School head Wendell Cabrera initiated these efforts in Rafael Lazatin Memorial High School for School Year 2014-2015 based on school data collected in the past two years. To date, he has successfully redirected 120 Grade 7 students to schools outside Angeles City and to areas outside Barangay Balibago, based on the residential profile of the students.

Angeles City Schools Division Superintendent Luz Arriola notes, "These efforts are just small steps towards finding a more institutionalized solution to congestion on the one hand and underutilized school facilities on the other."

"A referral system for enrolment is not tantamount to refusal. We are encouraging our school heads to coordinate with and help each other. This referral system is a coordinative mechanism that facilitates transfer of students to nearby schools that are spacious," Central Luzon Director Isabelita Borres clarified.

DepEd Central Office will be closely monitoring Central Luzon and Angeles City Division’s initiatives.

Department of Education Region III and Angeles City Schools Division are key partners in a multi-sectoral partnership with the Children’s Education First Coalition supported by The Asia Foundation and the Government of Australia. (PR)