THE Department of Education (DepEd) yesterday said four provinces have recorded an unprecedented zero dropout rate from first year to fourth year high shool.
These are Zamboanga Sibugay, Cotabato, Southern Leyte and Romblon.
Education Secretary Mona Valisno said the feat has been achieved through DepEd's Drop Out Reduction Program (DORP) which uses various approaches to significantly reduce if not totally eradicate the problem of dropouts.
"We have experienced remarkable success in reducing the drop out rate in many high schools because of our effective intervention programs through DORP" she added.
Valisno said DORP is a valuable tool for the Philippines to enable it to meet the Education For All (EFA) goals by 2015, which included reducing drop-out rates.
She stressed the department has to work extra hard to he able to reach and bring back to school some five million more school-aged children who are out of school.
DepEd's target is to cut dropout rate in public schools to 7.13 percent for school year 2009-2010.
This is far lower than the national drop-out rate of 12.51 percent when DORP was implemented in SY 2005-2006.
The 2010 target reflects a consistent decline front the 8.35 percent drop out in SY 2006-2007 and 7.45 percent in 2007-2008.
DORP was designed to address the problems faced by students which prevent them from completing their elementary and high school education.
Many students cannot report to class regularly because of various reasons such as work, financial problems physical handicap, family and health issues, among others.
According to Director Lolita Andrada of DepEd's Bureau of Secondary Education, DORP has several programs that rescue students, considered at risk of dropping out (SARDO), from discontinuing their schooling and being considered a school failure.
Other measures being implemented by DepEd to address the problem of drop-out rates is the Open High School Progrant (OHSP), a distance education program that allows working students or previously out-of-school-youth (OSY) to continue studying using a specialized module and the Effective Alternative Secondary Education (EASE) which provides an innovative learning tool that allows students to pursue lessons outside school using modules.
Likewise the Schools Initiated Interventions (SII) is the most effective help for SARDOs since the school itself fits the kind of help a student needs according to his unprevented circumstances.
The SII has enabled schools to determine, based on interview, specific problems of students or the real causes for dropping out.
A total of 1,176 public high schools now have DORP This number represents 17.68 percent out of the total of 6,650 high schools nationwide.
The schools in Zamboanga, Sibugay that posted a zero dropout rate include national high schools (NHS) in Balangao, Guinoman, Imelda, Kasigpitan, Nanan, Symbol, and Talusan.
In Cotahato, the zero dropout schools are the NHS in Badiogan, Nabalawag, Pikit, and Matalam.
In Southern Leyte, these are the NHS in Esperanza, Libas, Nava, Ichon, and Esleta.
In Romblon, these are the NHS in Agnipa, Ferrol, Sta. Fe, Concuera, and San Jose .