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PIA Press Release

For lack of students, DepEd mulls closing Comval public school

by Mai Gevera

Davao City (13 July) -- With only eight enrollees in a primary school in Mabini town, Compostela Valley Province, an official of the Department of Education announced that the school might be closed and enrolled students may be merged in a nearby school.

DepEd regional director Dr. Susana Estigoy received reports from the division superintendent in the area the possibility of closing Singapore Elementary School in Barangay Pindasan,losing more than 90 former students.

"I was told that the eight enrollees continue to get regular classes but they might be transferred to another school near the area," she said.

Deped officials are looking into the possibility of transfer of residence as the major cause of the poor participation rate in the said area. It was learned that parents of the schoolchildren might have transferred to a nearby town and engaged into mining activity as their livelihood.

Nevertheless, Estigoy still instructed the division superintendent to look for the former students and convince them to go back to school. Even with the DepEd directive of having the last day of enrolment last June 28, Estigoy clarified that the Department can push for an extension in special cases like that of the Mabini primary school.

Another primary school in Maragusan almost closed after getting very few enrollees last June. Estigoy dismissed the possibility of the presence of military groups in the area as the major cause of poor enrolment. Deped officials rather believed that it was due to the active mining activity in a neighboring area that most of the residents transferred to another site.

In an elementary high school in Barangay Diwata, Diwalwal, Compostela Valley Province, students were forced to walk 3 kilometers from the old school site to the new school area. This happened after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources recommended for the transfer after seeing hazard risks of having the site located on the exact mining site.

"The provincial governor committed to help improve the accessibility to the site to ensure that students won't be discouraged from attending classes given the distance that they need to walk." she added. (PIA XI) [top]

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