ORMOC CITY, Leyte, June 14 (PNA) — The first day of classes for the Senior High School (SHS) in Ormoc was marked with a low enrollment rate, but officials are confident the number of enrolees will pick up by the rest of the week.

As of Monday, there are only 1,870 enrollees at the 14 public schools here offering SHS. Among the nine private schools offering SHS, only Western Leyte College was able to submit a partial enrollment list of 312 as there is a problem with the Department of Education (DepEd) Ormoc Division’s Learner Information System.

DepEd expects 4,080 enrolees for SHS both in private and public schools based on the number of graduates in Junior High School last June.

However, the absorbing capacity of the 14 public schools here is only 2,840. DepEd expects that the slots will be filled on the last day of enrolment on June 17.

SHS has four program offerings namely Academic, Arts and Design, Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, and Sports. Only Arts and Design is not offered in Ormoc. The most number of enrollees are in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (Stem), one of the specializations of Academic track.

Pedro T. Escobarte Jr., schools division superintendent, said they are expecting 40 more enrollees from neighboring Merida town where Stem is not offered. Although the additional students were not factored in the 4,080 enrolees, he assured that they can be accommodated in Ormoc.

This is because most of the 15 new school buildings with 104 classrooms are ready for use. Only two units four-storey buildings with a combined 44 classrooms are still being constructed at New Ormoc National High School (NONHS). The buildings are 85 percent complete and will be ready by the end of July.

Aside from the new schoolhouses, the classrooms of the night high school at ONHS can also be used for SHS as well as the three classrooms of the Sports track at Ormoc Central School. Only one of the four classrooms for sports is utilized at present, having the lowest number of enrollees among the program offerings.

Another minor concern encountered is the lack of chairs which was solved by pulling out excess chairs or those that are not in use from the elementary department. With 95 new teacher items filled up for SHS, Escobarte is confident they will attain the prescribed ratio of one teacher for every 40 learners. (PNA) FFC/SQM/FELIX N. CODILLA/EGR