Story contributed by: Ana Eva Villanueva and Charrie Masculino
Due to the sensitivity of the information and upon the request of school sources, we are not disclosing the actual name of schools and school heads.
GUIMARAS — The CheckMySchool monitoring uncovered misreporting of enrollment in Guimaras schools. Ana Eva Villanueva and Charrie Masculino, CheckMySchool coordinators in Guimaras, encountered these cases in the course of their monitoring.
Ana Eva recalled, “May nakitang kababalaghan talaga. Pag sumobra ang enrolment sa isang school, at may isang di makakuha ng 30 students o pupils, kukunin yung sa kabila. Iko-combine para walang shortage ng teachers at classroom.”
(“There were manipulations. When there’s excess enrollment in a school, and another has shortage of 30, one will borrow from the other. The shortage of teachers and classrooms is then fixed.”)
Charrie added, “Sa ibang school na may sobrang students (na binigay nila sa school na may kulang), nire-report din nila na tama lang. Kulang na pala sila sa teacher, di pa nila alam. Ang parang nangyayari eh masakit na pala ang tyan mo, di ka pa nagsasalita. So pano magagamot ng doktor?”
(“Schools that lend excess students to schools with shortage pretend that things are in order. They wouldn’t know that they already have shortage in teachers. It’s similar to stomach pain, which you wouldn’t tell the doctor about. How can the doctor cure it?”
A retired school principal confirmed and admitted the practice. He arranged the trade-in of 15 pupils with an enrollment-rich school. He had to do it because he had a very low enrollment of only around 15. He was targeting 30.
An elementary school and a former primary school also used a similar trick. The primary school only had around 15 pupils and needed augmentation.
A principal noted, “We had a verbal agreement about this arrangement. The school with low enrollment will be visited by teachers from another school with available teachers.”
The same case was documented in another pair of elementary school and primary school. The latter used to be an extension school of the former. It was still establishing itself and many pupils would still go to the better known school in the area, which kept their enrollment low.
In one meeting with the Local School Board, Ana Eva called the attention of the Principals regarding such malpractice. She asked, “Ano nangyayari? Pano kayo madaragdagan ng teacher kung ito ang ire-report nyo? Pano kayo madaragdagan ng school building, kung wala yan (tamang impormasyon) sa inyong SIP at AIP?”
(“What’s going on? How can you get additional teachers if you report this. How can you get additional school building if you don’t have correct information in your SIP and AIP?”)
SIP is School Improvement Plan, which is being prepared every three years. AIP is Annual Implementation Plan based on the SIP. These are official planning documents used as bases for school budget and spending.
The CheckMySchool monitoring changed this practice. Charrie said, “After consultations at follow ups namin, na-realize din nila na tama ang CheckMySchool. Kung ganun gawin nila, di makikita ng Division office ang kulang nila. As of now, wala na ganitong problema sa buong Guimaras. Nagbibigay na sila ng tamang report sa division office at central office.”
(“After our consultations and follow ups, they realized that CheckMySchool was right. If they continued doing that, the Division Office would not see what they lacked. As of now, the problem has been stopped in the whole of Guimaras. The schools are submitting correct reports to the division office and central office.”
The principals indeed appreciated the feedback. One of them said, “Nagpasalamat kami sa CheckMySchool. Kung di nyo kami pinuna, baka hanggang ngayon, wala pa kaming bagong classrooms at teachers.”
(“We are grateful to CheckMySchool. If you did not point out that problem, we won’t have new classrooms and teachers until now.”)