The Department of Education in Negros Occidental, as in the rest of the country, will begin its early registration program for Kindergarten and Grades 1 to 12 pupils for school year 2019-2020 today, Provincial Schools Superintendent Portia Mallorca said yesterday.
Parents of children entering kindergarten next school year can begin enrolling them, she said. Teachers in kindergarten schools are also obtaining lists of the names of children at day care centers for enrollment in kindergarten, Mallorca added.
There are 378,000 kindergarten to grade 12 students enrolled in public schools under the Negros Occidental Schools Division, she said. The figure does not include those enrolled in schools under the various city schools divisions in Negros Occidental, she said.
Mallorca said the names of those already enrolled from grade 1 to 12 will be automatically included in the list for enrollment to the next grade level that will be validated.
DepEd Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the registration will be until February 22.
“Schools are open for the registration to locate and register, not only those who go to school regularly, but also out-of-school children and youth,” Sevilla said.
Parents need to bring their children's birth certificates issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority and report cards for registration.
"We need the birth certificates to establish the age of the child because for Kinder, we will accept only those who are going to be five years old by Aug. 31, 2019," she said.
Sevilla added that schools will not accept5-year-olds for the grade one level unless they have proof of advance level of competency.
"We need to correct the ages of the students. If they are really advanced, there is the Philippine Education Placement test they need to take, but generally we need to follow the appropriate age," she said.
Sevilla noted that DepEd schools cannot deny children without report cards the opportunity to register.
"If there's no report card, there will be an assessment of the child's level of competency," she said.
Out-of-school children and youth (OSCY), have to undergo a different procedure. Sevilla said focal persons in the community look for OSCYs and encourage them to go back to school.
"The barangay officials and parents will be told that these children are not studying. Our Alternative Learning System mobile teachers will reach out to them," she said.
Sevilla said OSCYs will undergo a PEP test to identify their level of competency. Afterwards, they will be taught one on one and eventually transferred to formal schooling.
"It is part of (DepEd) Secretary (Leonor) Briones' advocacy, now that we will not wait for the children to go to school. Instead, we will bring the school to the children," she added.
Sevilla said this advocacy is related to the lower criminal age or social age of responsibility issue.
"These children could be doing those things because they have no formal or informal schooling and proper guidance at such a young age. We have a mandate to give access and quality education, which is the right of every child. We will find ways so they will againhave the interest to study so they can be guided, and not be a part of the problems in the future," she said.
While the registration is scheduled during regular school hours, Sevilla said start time may differ among schools.
She reiterated that there is no registration fee. The registration program is under DepEd's no collection policy.*CPG/PNA
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