By Tara Yap
With the new school year opening on June 4, Western Visayas will have an estimated 1.9 million students.
Victor De Gracia, assistant regional director of Department of Education (DepEd-6), told Manila Bulletin this figure comprises both of public and private schools for elementary and high school levels.
There is a spike in this year’s enrollment figure for the region. Compared to last year, there were only 1.2 million students. But that is due to the fact that Negros Occidental province was still considered as part of the then Negros Island Region (NIR), which was dissolved by President Duterte last August 2017.
The enrollment of students from Negros Occidental is now added to the number of students enrolled from Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Iloilo provinces.
Of the 1.9 million, at least 1.74 million students are enrolled in public schools while the remaining 191,476 students are enrolled in private schools.
By levels, it is expected that the elementary students will be over a million this year. There will be an estimated 608,485 students for junior high school (Grade 7-10); 134,213 students for senior high school (Grade 11-12); and 166,963 students for kindergarten.
One of DepEd-6’s priorities this school year is monitoring senior high school graduates, which had its first batch this year.
“We want to know whether they proceeded to college and took up their desired track course or obtained jobs. This is crucial in assessing how effective the senior high school program is,” De Gracia said.