TACLOBAN CITY- Increased fees plus the recurring economic problem are two factors seen by the regional office of the Department of Education (DepEd) as reasons for possible influx of students coming from private to public schools.

This was disclosed by Mercy Sarmiento, information officer of DepEd-8, who said as the new school year started on Monday.

The DepEd in the region approved the petition of 18 private schools for a tuition fee increase.
Of these schools, eight are in Leyte; three each in Northern Samar and Southern Leyte; two in Ormoc City and one each in Borongan and Tacloban.

There are more than 200 private schools operating n the region.

Sarmiento said that with the increased fees and still poor economic condition of the region, there is a possibility that students previously enrolled in private schools may just chose to study in government-run schools.

“In fact, we are seeing a possible increase of our enrollment both in elementary and secondary levels,” she said.

Eastern Visayas, already one of the poorest regions in the country was further economically affected after it was pummeled by supertyphoon “Yolanda” making it now the country’s poorest region.

DepEd projects of more than a million enrolment for this school year- 736,270 for the elementary and 356,554 for the secondary level.

Sarmiento maintains that the government-run schools are offering quality education considering that they are now handling less 50 students.

She said that there are schools who are handling students that are below 45, the so-called standard for a teacher to student ratio.

“In fact, there are already some schools whose teachers are handling 35 students. This means, our teachers could now better teach their lessons (to the benefits of their students),” Sarmiento said.