STRESSING that every learner, able or differently abled, should be in school, Education Secretary Armin Luistro has ordered all of the Department of Education (DepEd) heads nationwide to take the lead in planning and implementing the early registration of children and youth with disabilities on Jan. 28.

Luistro said that the aim of the early registration is to” bring them to school.”

The DepEd has set aside Jan. 28 as the day for expanded early registration of these children in all public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.

Targeted for early registration for school year 2012-2013 are the incoming Kindergarten, Grade 1, and first-year high-school students. This year the DepEd has enjoined out-of-school children and youth and learners with disabilities whose ages range from 5 to 18 to enroll so that the government can provide them proper educational intervention.

“The early registration will give the department enough lead time to bridge resource gaps even before classes open in June,” said Luistro. He added that the Philippines is firmly committed to meet the goals of universal basic education and “Education For All” being advocated by the United Nations.

Kenneth Tirado, DepEd Communications Unit head, said that they are optimistic that they department will be able to surpass the number of students who participated in the early registration last year.

“As of March 30, 2011, our early registration stood at 1.126 million kindergartners and we hope to surpass this because of the awareness,” Tirado said.

Based on DepEd Order 4, series of 2012, Special Education (SPED) centers, trained SPED teachers, and all health personnel are required to assist in locating children and youth with disabilities who have not been to school.

Required to enroll are children and youth with visual impairment, hearing impairment, those with intellectual disability, learning disability, with speech and language impairment, those with serious emotional disturbance, children with autism, with orthopedic impairment, those with special health problems, and with multiple disabilities.

Learners who dropped out from elementary or secondary school may enroll in the formal system through Alternative Delivery Modes which include Modified In-School and Off-School Approach; electronic Instructional Management by Parents, Community, and Teachers; and Drop-Out Reduction Program.

Another option for those who dropped out and want to continue schooling is the Alternative Learning System.

In both schemes, prospective enrollees are required to present their report card or a letter of certification from the school they last attended.


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