Division Situational Analysis

Division Situational Analysis

Delivery of Educational Service

1. Enrolments. Basic education enrolment currently stands at 19.57 thousand children, 61% of which (11.87 thousand) represents the elementary portion, while 39% (or 7.7 thousand) represents the secondary portion. Of the total basic education, 83% are in the public schools. The gross participation rates are 84.15 and 65.73 for elementary and secondary education, respectively, with the girls outperforming the boys.

The enrolment figure for 2006 is slightly higher by 1.25% children than 2005. A rapid appraisal of the situation points to poverty as the main cause of the very modest increase, as exacerbated by the high cost of education and the need for students, particularly those at the high school level, to seize employment opportunities to augment household income.

The Division’s strategies for motivating parents and students to enrol in the schools included in the implementation of the “Oplan Balik Eskwela” which refers to community-level campaigns nationwide for parents to pre-register children of school age prior to the June opening of school year. This is being done with the active support of the local government and other community stakeholders. Complementing this campaign is DepEd’s award of scholarship subsidy to students who cannot be absorbed by the public schools, known as the GASTPE Program. This program comes in two modes – the first is by contracting private schools to organize classes for public school excess students known as “Service Contracting Scheme”. The second mode is by awarding education vouchers to poor but academically deserving elementary graduates known a the Education Vouchers Scheme (EVS).

On Early Childhood Education (ECE), the Division continues to work with the local government units for the provision of preschool education. The current enrolment in DepEd’s portion of ECE stands at 638 children, mainly through the DepEd Preschool Program and the Education Service Contracting Scheme with LGU’s and PTCA’s.

For children, youth and adults who have real difficulties attending the formal schools, the Division offered alternative modalities for delivering basic education services, namely “ alternative delivery modes” (ADM) and “ Alternative Learning System” (ALS). For ADM at the elementary level, such programs as Distance Education for Public Elementary Schools and Multi-grade continue to be implemented. In terms of ALS, the Division continue implementing the Basic Literacy Program and Accreditation and Equivalency Program and BP-OSA (Balik-Paaralaan for Out-of-School Adults) which are mainly modular learning and through mobile teachers or community-based instructional managers for those children, youths and adults who are in unique or difficult situations.

2. Organizing Schools . The 19.57 thousand students enrolled in the basic education system are accommodated in 30 elementary and secondary schools within the City of Balanga, 60% of which are public and the remaining 40% are private.

To ensure that there will be enough student places in the public schools, the Division of Balanga City in partnership with the City Local Government will provide a total of 59 classrooms with the latter’s program on Local Government Finance and Development (Logo Find). With this project, it is estimated that the classroom –pupil ratio will lower to 1:45 to improve learning conditions.

3. Improving the Holding Power of Schools As measures of basic education efficiency and effectiveness, the Division has posted cohort survival rates for elementary and secondary which are 84.19% and 44.12%, respectively. Drop-out rates are 0% for elementary and 8.16% for secondary.

To this end, the Division launched the “ Food for Schools Program” mainly for the very young learners in each school because they are the most at risk of leaving the school system as they are prone to sickness due to malnutrition. This program is funded by the school canteen proceeds.

4. Improving the Quality of Basic Education. The achievement scores of public school students in Grade 6 and 4th year high school in the concluded national achievement test are far higher from the desired. On a per subject area basis, the scores ( expressed in mean percentage scores) are as follows : Grade 6 English – 70.37% ; Math – 71.71% ; Science – 57.48% ; Filipino – 73.25% and Hekasi – 75.25% . On the other hand, Fourth Year: English – 65.41% ; Math – 51.36 : Science – 57.54% ; Filipino – 58.92% and Hekasi – 59.26%. The Division ranked first in both elementary and secondary in the regional rank list of the National Achievement Test ( NAT), out of the seventeen (17) divisions in Region III. It managed to sustain its achievement when it first topped the NAT in SY 2004-2005.

5. Improving the Relevance of Basic Education. The DepEd continues to strengthen the Basic Education Curriculum (BEC) to keep it up-to-date with socio-economic, cultural, scientific, technological and other developments.

In addition, despite the fact that this division topped the National Achievement Test for three (3) consecutive school years in whole Region III, the mean percentage score (mps) is still below the mastery level of 75%. With this poor performance in national achievement tests by Grade 6 and 4th year students, coupled with high drop-out and low cohort survival situations in secondary level, compelled DepED to introduce what is now known as Technical-Vocational Education. The strategic underpinning of HS Tech-Voc Education is to help high school students acquire some skills that will help them earn a living while and after completing basic education – a reality that needs to be confronted head-on. In this regard, for the past two (2) years of operation the curriculum of Balanga Integrated School was based on RBEC. On SY 2008-2009, the division will implement the HS Tech-Voc Education to prepare students to more challenging roles.

6. Student Assessment. As a way of gauging performance and competitiveness, the Division of City of Balanga continues to administer standardized national achievement tests to Grade 6 & 4th year high school students yearly. Test results are immediately fed back to the teachers, disaggregated in terms of students’ mastered and least mastered skills to facilitate re-focusing of lessons and/or remediation