Schools with zero dropout rate increase by 3,000 percent

An October 19, 2011 press release from the Department of Education

The intensified campaign and continuous interventions developed by the Department of Education (DepEd) to reduce the number of high school students quitting school registered a remarkable increase with nearly 2,000 schools nationwide registering a zero dropout rate compared with last year’s numbers totaling to 56 secondary schools.

Topping the list is Caraga, where 187 high schools recorded no incidence of dropout. This is followed by Region 8, which has 127 high schools with no report of dropouts because of various interventions under the Drop-out Reduction Program (DORP) of the department.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro also disclosed that, to date, already 46,000 students have been saved from dropping out, and the number continues to increase as reports come in from the regions.

Rounding up the list, Region 1 has 84 high schools that registered a zero dropout, 83 in Region 2, 56 in Region 3, 60 in Region 4A, 35 in Region 4B, 41 in Region 5, 41 in Region 6, 86 in Region 7, 127 in Region 8, 98 in Region 9, 42 in Region 10, 32 in Region 11, 60 in Region 12, 187 in Caraga, 99 in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 39 in Cordillera Autonomous Region, and 24 in National Capital Region.

Luistro said the program is effective because the alternative delivery mode for students who are at risk of dropping out (SARDO) is being tailored fit to meet the learners’ unique educational requirement. “We first check the SARDOs circumstances, then come up with alternatives that respond to their specific learning needs,” he added.

DepEd records show that the DORP has contributed to the remarkable accomplishment, reducing the high school dropout rate from 12.51 percent in 2005–2006 to 7.95 percent in school year ‘09–‘10.

“There are many learners who face difficult social and economic situations and they too need government intervention. This is part of our mandate to make education inclusive and accessible to all Filipino learners,” Luistro explained.

DepEd came up with DORP to save students from dropping out of the rolls because of financial problems; peace and order issues; and physical handicap, family, and health concerns, among others. It offers a menu of alternative delivery modes that aim to keep students in school and finish their basic education.

Simultaneously, the Open High School Program (OHSP) is providing access to all learners who are not capable of coming to school every day for justifiable reasons. It is a distance education program with unique features like self-directed learning and acceleration by learning area or by year level. This allows working students or previously out-of-school-youth to continue studying using specialized learning modules.

The Schools Initiated Interventions (SII), which is one of the features of the DORP, is also effective as the school itself designs the kind of help a student needs according to his/her unique circumstances. The SII has enabled schools to determine, based on interview, specific problems of students or the real causes for dropping out.

DepEd also reported that there are nearly 8,000 OHSP graduates of whom 1,355 proceeded to college, 59 went abroad, and 719 are employed locally. Data are still coming in as the DORP team continues to track graduates of the OHSP.

Also, over 6,300 DepEd teachers and school officials have been trained on OHSP–DORP.