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San Juan National High School launches O’ Eskwela Plus

To effectively lessen if not completely eliminate the looming dropout cases among students in the secondary level, the Schools Division Office of San Juan together with San Juan National High School officially launched the O’ Eskwela Plus Program last July 19, 2019 at the Audio-Visual Center of San Juan National High School.

The ‘Open’-Eskwela Plus Program, a brainchild of Dr. Alejandro G. Ibañez ASDS-OIC, was conceptualized to help lessen the alarming dropout rate in the high school level which can be attributed to various reasons such as relocation programs, out-migration, teenage pregnancy and work pressure.

The said program is a kind of Alternative Education which is done through modular learning. The modules to be used were prepared by the respective Master Teachers from each subject thus ensuring carefully crafted learning materials which are apt for students who can no longer possibly meet the demands of in-schooling.

In his speech, Dr. Ibañez said, “The low turn of dropout rates for me is alarming because it reflects the inadequacy of the formal school system considering the different circumstances of our learners today,” The capable superintendent further explained that the program must to be made a priority because as he cited, even in US, homeschooling has become a more popular option than actually being in school. He even hinted that this alternative mode of learning actually supports the ‘Education for All’ program of the Department of Education.

“The concept of this program coincides with the definition of Alternative Education which is incorporating strategies inside and outside the school so that learners will reach their educational goal which is to get diploma,” Ibañes further stressed.

With this, the school principal, Mr. Cesar A. Camayra, observed that with the dropout rates reaching to almost 10% from the previous years, it is high time that such huge intervention be put into action.

“The standard dropout rate is only 1% and our target, if possible, is to have only .99%. Hopefully this is going to be among the innovations of the school since we’ve already started with good numbers in our promotion rate,” the hardworking principal has this to say when asked during an interview as to why he thinks the program should be of utmost priority.

And so coordinations were set. Master Teachers were mobilized as early as the start of the school year to prepare all the necessary materials. Though the time span may seem inadequate, Mrs. Erlinda Reyes, one of the Master Teachers who crafted the modules, assured that all the materials were meticulously worked upon and are aligned with that of the DepEd programs and projects.

In her closing speech, Mrs. Rowena Cruz, Head Teacher III of Araling Panlipunan, lauded the MTs for their hard work, humorously and sincerely stating that their works will not only merit their IPCRFs but more so their professional commitment.

Mr. Camayra added that the school will be meeting with the parents and the stakeholders to orient them about the program and in due time, full implementation will take place. More so, he expects the second half of the program (online component) to be in full swing as well.

The launching was attended by other officials from the SDO including Mrs. Flordeliza Pereyra, OIC-ASDS who aided in the ribbon cutting. Several Education Program Supervisors were also in attendance such as Dr. Susan Luceño, Mrs. Helen Acedo, Dr. Victoria Parambita and Dr. Bradley Goldie Loo. Other witnesses include the Head Teachers, GPTA officers and stakeholders.

Article written by:

Marlon N. Cruz (Teacher II, SJNHS)

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