The Department of Education (DepEd) regional office here expects a million students, both enrolled in public and private schools, to attend the opening of classes on June 15 amid heavy traffic during peak hours that usually accompany the regular school season. Colleges and universities will also start their regular classes on Tuesday but enrollment may still go on for a week more.  

DepEd 12 Assistant Director Allan Farnazo said enrolled students in public schools have reached up to half a million compared to more than 300,000 in private schools, both in the secondary and elementary levels.. Increase in tuition fees and matriculation among private schools, Farnazo said, have compelled parents to transfer their children to low-tuition learning institutions. “This had been the scenario in the past years,” Farnazo said. “This is not new anymore, we are expecting this.” But Farnazo said more rooms are needed to cater to the growing population of students in public schools in the region.  

In 2009, Farnazo said public schools in the region accommodated more than 800,000 students, “We are very optimistic that the number will increase.” “Even if there is high enrollment rate, we also mean quality education as much as we want to have free education for all of the Filipino children,” said Farnazo, adding that more teachers have been hired to give the necessary learning to the students in public schools..
 
In South Cotabato, Division Planning Officer Cristopher Frusa said that in 2009 elementary pupils reached up to more than 90,000 because of free education and public schools here have targeted a 5.82 percent increase. “Nagalagas kita sang commitment sang probinsya sa free education for all come 2015 magtaas ang aton nga participation rate by 90 to 100 percent if possible,” said Frusa while the Division Office is looking forward to the 103,380 population in elementary level and 38, 814 students in secondary level with a target of 8.03 percent this school year. (mindanaocross.net)

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