Solon decries shortage of high schools, Calls for one high school in every barangay

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Reference: ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio (09209220817)
Solon decries shortage of high schools
Calls for one high school in every barangay
“Yes, we will still have a serioius shortage of classrooms for this school year. But it’s time we talk about a far more serious shortage—that of high schools.”
ACT TEACHERS Party-List Representative Antonio Tinio lamented that due to the gross shortage of public secondary schools, 4.6 million high school-age youth from 12 to 15 years old are not enrolled in high school. They make up a significant portion of the country’s 6.24 million out-of-school youth.
This school year, the Department of Education expects an enrolment of 7.45 million in public and private high schools nationwide.
Citing Deped figures, the legislator noted that there were 7,268 public high schools throughout the country in 2011. By contrast, there were 38,351public elementary schools.
“In short, there’s only one public high school for every five elementary schools. Almost all barangays in the country have at least one elementary school. By contrast, high schools may be found mainly in urban areas and population centers only. As a result, 91% of school-age children are enrolled in elementary, while only 62% are enrolled in high school.”
“The shortage of public high schools, particularly in rural areas, explains the alarmingly high number of children who are not enrolled in high school,” said Tinio. The existing high schools are simply too far away, making even free secondary education too costly for rural poor families,” said Tinio.
“Twenty six years after our Constitution mandated free high school education, government has not been able to make high school accessible to a substantial number of Filipino children,” said Tinio.
Tinio criticized the Aquino administration for pushing for K to 12, which will add two years to high school, while failing to address the continuing lack of access of millions of children to secondary education. “What is the Deped doing to enable 4.6 million children to enter high school? It’s current intervention, particularly the Alternative Learning System (ALS), is commendable but grossly inadequate, compared to the magnitude of the problem. Currently, ALS serves a mere 300,000 out-of-school children. Furthermore, there’s no substitute for schooling in the classroom setting. Children of the rural poor are as much entitled to quality teachers, classrooms, and textbooks as other Filipinos.”
The solon pointed out that failure to provide access to secondary education to the poor would worsen social inequality and hinder genuine national development. “If the shortage of public high schools is not addressed, we will see a further widening of the gap in educational attainment among Filipino youth in the urban centers and the countryside, and among the middle and upper income groups and the poor. At hindi uunlad ang ating bansa hanggat hindi sinisigurado ng pamahalaan na ang bawat Pilipino ay nakatapos ng hayskul.”
Tinio challenged the Aquino administration to embark on a massive program to establish high schools in the countryside. The rallying cry for education should be “one high school in every barangay.” #