CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, Feb 12 (PIA) -The Department of Education Region 4A (DepEd 4A) is keen to address the challenges in the quality of basic education in Calabarzon through its Sulong Edukalidad advocacy.
Dr. Allan D. Tipan of DepEd 4A tackled the issues on quality education in the Calabarzon region during the 2020 1st Semester Meeting of the Regional Committee on Quality Education For All (RCQEFA) held at the NEDA 4A Regional Office, Barangay Milagrosa in this city last February 6.
The "Sulong Edukalidad" advocacy of DepEd primarily aims to aid the increasing number of dropouts and low performance of the students in the large scale assessment National Achievement Test (NAT), particularly the need to put emphasis on Mathematics and Science subjects.
"We have improved on our net enrollment rate," Tipan said.
The net enrollment, which is the ratio of the enrollment for the age group corresponding to the official school age, of students in Calabarzon has significantly improved.
DepEd has three main deliverables such as Access to assure that all students are going to school, Efficiency to make sure that facilities and services are available, and the last is Quality.
In terms of efficiency, he stated that the students are graduating well and less than a hundred percent are already moving to Grade 6.
"I think we are efficient in terms of our Completion Rate. Our problem in Elementary is Quality," he stressed.
Despite the increase in quantity of enrollees, the quality of learning is declining as reflected in the result of the NAT and Program for international Student Assessment (PISA).
The NAT data of Grade 6 in Calabarzon falls into the average of 40.40, the Grade 10 level resulted to 46.30, and the Grade 12 level has a total of 38.94 average.
DepEd recently reported that the 2018 PISA results revealed that the Philippines scored 353 in Mathematics, 357 in Science, and 340 in Reading, which are all below the average of participating Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
Aside from the assessment results, data on dropouts and repeaters also pose a challenge to the basic education particularly in Calabarzon.
Based on the presented data, there were 32,952 dropouts from kinder to Grade 6; a total of 33,626 dropouts under Junior High School level; and 2,971 from Senior High School level in the academic year (A.Y.) 2018-2019.
The repeaters from kinder to Grade 6 has a massive total of 41,027 and 32,217 in Junior High School level.
The RCQEFA 4A members turned out to be alarmed by the current situation of DepEd concerning the basic quality education in the region.
"These figures are really alarming, because supposed to be, we have a poor quality if we are poor, but Calabarzon is not poor," National Economic and Development Authority Region 4A (NEDA 4A) Assistant Regional Head Gina T. Gacusan pointed out.
It also seemed odd that most of the localities that topped the list with most dropouts and repeaters are under the first class category including the cities of Antipolo, Dasmarinas, Bacoor, Calamba and San Pablo.
Gacusan suggested to present DepEd's data to the Regional Development Council 4A (RDC 4A) since it is seen as a critical regional concern.
The RCQEFA members from different agencies willingly agreed to arrange a special meeting for further discourse and collaboration to address the problematic situation. The resolution to be formulated in the special meeting will be proposed and presented to the RDC 4A.
Moreover, part of DepEd's advocacy is ensuring longer contact hours between the teachers and their students.
Tipan pronounced that the teachers under DepEd will now be unloaded with the tasks and activities that may have been reducing their contact time with students which is expected to help improve the quality of basic education in the country.
He pointed out that the solution to the meager quality of Philippine basic education does not only apply to the faculty members nor students, but also on how parents closely monitor their children at home. (Joy Gabrido and Maine Odong/PIA4A)