SP Acts on "Low Quality" Education of the Province
The result of the National Achievement Test administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) in the Philippines determined the student’s academic levels, strength and weaknesses in five subject areas taught in school, namely: Mathematics, Science, English, Filipino and Hekasi/Araling Panlipunan (AP) and for the last three years, the Mean Percentage Score (MPS) of Zamboanga del Sur decreases according to the National Education Testing and Research Center in which our province ranks 6th among the 8 divisions of Region 9 where Dapitan City ranks 1st place.
This caused total dismayed to the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan that in spite of the efforts of the province under the leadership of Governor Antonio H. Cerilles through his Education program in his Seven-Point Agenda, the province’s academic performance still remained poor.
As an aid of legislation, the members of the 9th Provincial Board invited DepEd Zamboanga del Sur Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Hilda Babon to attend the regular session of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to shed light on the issues concerning the poor quality of education in the province.
As of the record, year 2014-2015 the MPS of the elementary level of the province decreases from 71.54% to 71.10% while in secondary the rating of education in our province did not even reach the 75% threshold of the National Standard in which we only got 51.28% and this is based on the result of the National Achievement Test given by the National Education Testing and Research Center.
According to Dr. Babon, this problem is affected with so many factors and one common reason is having multi-grade classes. Multi-grade classes consist of two or more different grade levels inside a single-grade classroom handled by one teacher for an entire school year. It is offered in elementary schools located in distant and sparsely populated localities. The small number of students for each grade level, the shortage of teachers, the distance from the community to the nearest school, and the inadequacy of funds and classrooms is reasons that necessitate the organization of multi-grade classes. There are 307 multi-grade classes in the whole division and the largest numbers of multi-grade classes are found in Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur where there are 21 classes, followed by Lapuyan with 19 classes and then Tambulig with 18 classes.
“During the first term of Governor Tony Cerilles as Governor of the province way back year 2010, there was no issue on multi-grade classes in Zamboanga del Sur because the province was augmenting local paid teachers to the DepEd in order to cater those schools who lacked teaching staff but when the said office stop accepting local paid teachers, the number of multi-grade classes increase and the ratings of our education started to decrease”, said Board Member Miguelito Ocapan during the session.
The Department of Education presented different interventions about the said problem and they are thankful that the Local Government of Zamboanga del Sur is very much concern about it. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan is also looking for a solution to resolve the problem and extend support to all the programs of DepEd in order to improve the situation.