By NITZ ARANCON
NEARLY 223 thousand children and teenagers trooped to various public schools across Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental as classes opened yesterday.
The education department counted 133,325 people enrolled in kindergarten, elementary, junior high and senior high in public schools in the city. Excluding those in kindergarten, the city has about 4,371 public school teachers.
In Misamis Oriental, officials said there were 89,500 enrolled in public schools, and some 6,800 teachers.
Officials however said the figures could shoot up, pointing out that the Department of Education is still anticipating latecomers in the coming days.
Jonathan dela Peña, schools division superintendent in Cagayan de Oro, said the number of elementary graders in the city reached 92,110 students, as of yesterday’s count. With 2,693 elementary grade teachers, the ratio is 1:34 or one teacher for every 34 students.
Dela Peña also counted 35,447 students in junior high who would be taught by 1,371 teachers. The ratio is 1:26.
For senior high, there were only 5,868 who enrolled so far, and 307 teachers. The ratio is 1:19.
Randolph Tortola, Misamis Oriental schools division superintendent, counted 17,500 children enrolled in kindergarten, 104 thousand elementary graders, 57 thousand in junior high and 15 thousand in senior high in the province.
The ratio: 1:20 for kinderten, 1:40 for elemtary, 1:35 for junior and senior high.
Dela Peña pointed out that the data differ from one school to another in Cagayan de Oro.
“Data vary depending on school enrollment and teacher deployment,” he said.
Dela Peña said teachers would be moved around as soon as the enrollment period ends in an effort to achieve the ideal teacher-pupil ratio.
Tortola, for his part, said he was expecting the number of students to increase.
“Posibling madugangan pa ang atong mga enrollees kay na-a pa may ubang estudyante nga wala pa ma-enroll labi na kadtong tu-a nagpoyo sa mga farflung areas,” Tortola said.
He said school supervisors were under instructions to assess classrooms, chairs, textbooks and teachers in order to determine how the public schools can be improved.
Meanwhile, Department of Education regional director Allan Farnazo gave nothing but empty motherhood statements and a souvenir program-type of hifalutin message when he was asked for data.
“Thank you so much for all that we have been through in school year 2017-2018. As we begin school year 2018-2019, I call on all our personnel to make this a banner year for Deped Region 10,” reads part of Farnazo’s text message. “Just like the immortal Olympic motto ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’ which means, ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger,’ may this school year be simply just like that. A year that is better that the previous school year.”
Farnazo also shared a sermon-like quote which he attributed to a saint named Calixto: “I say to you, ‘May God grant you safe passage on all your journeys ahead. May you find companions worthy of your dreams. May your plans always hold and may your courage rise to meet them. May you live to bring on love of God to all the concerns of the earth and the most distant peripheries of his church. And my your passion always burn brightly – that on God’s time, you may set the world on fire.”