Bayawan City Division
When Bayawan became a city in December 23, 2000, its city charter stipulated the creation of an interim City Division which was formally opened by Sec. Edilberto de Jesus on the 25th of January.
In its earnest desire to provide quality education, the interim city division started its seemingly turtle–paced efforts right after the inauguration with nine education supervisors designate of which two were district supervisors, one head teacher, one LGU paid principal and five elementary school principals. The administrative section was manned by a teacher acting as OIC Administrative Officer assisted by a utility worker and two contractual workers paid by LGU. It had a three hundred eighty three (383) elementary and fifty – six secondary teachers situated in fifty (50) elementary schools and (11) secondary schools unevenly distributed in the (28) twenty–eight barangays made up the whole budding city division. The average mean percentage score of 37.29 for the elementary and 38.30 for the secondary. From School Year 2002–2003 to 2003–2004 the educational landscape has dramatically changed propelled by the vision of development–oriented mayor in consultation of the various stakeholders and in coordination with the DepEd.
Located 101 kilometers away from the City of Dumaguete, Province of Negros Oriental, Bayawan City was once one of the school districts of the Division of Negros Oriental. It was the second to the last school district with 49 elementary schools of which 7 or 12 percent are located along national highway and 51 or 85 percent in the hinterlands with a range of 5 to 57 kilometers distance from the division office. The rough, slippery terrain coupled with bad roads rendered oftentimes impassable due to ten–wheeler trucks which crisscrossed the area especially during the milling season affected the delivery of educational services.
Heavy rains in June till October pose a constraint in the delivery of educational services especially among the schools in the northwest and northeast areas where attendance of both pupils and teachers are the lowest on Mondays and Fridays. Bayawan City Division is nestled in agricultural areas where 80 percent of the parents are practically earning their livelihood farm–related activities which in turn have drawn children to assist in the farm–tasks with the end goal of helping the family make both ends meet. This has been the major cause in the low academic performance with around 30 percent of the pupils in schools located near sugarcane fields engaged in farm labor.
Around twenty one thousand pupils are enrolled in the elementary schools for which barely 25 percent continue their studies in the secondary schools and around ten percent pursue college work.
With regard to their academic performance, Elementary school pupils have an average MPS of between 23–27 in English, Science and Mathematics. Absenteeism of pupils, poor teaching strategies, lack of teaching competency and minimal supervision of teachers could well account for the low performance which is the biggest challenge confronting the division.
The infrastructure donated by the local government headed by City Mayor German P. Saraña Jr. And the Congressional District of Negros Oriental has helped a lot in the plight of the school children. Under the Third Elementary Project (TEEP), Bayawan City was one of the local government units in Negros Oriental with the highest equity for which countless schools where constructed and renovated. Under Secondary Education Development Improvement Project (SEDIP), Bayawan City also had the highest equity so much so that priority was given in the construction of science buildings and the needed classrooms to accommodate the growing secondary school population.
In view of this, the division puts premium on the need to monitor attendance and to maximize contract hours while motivating education supervisors to focus on their subject areas to meet the 75 percent mean percentage score target. Vis–a–vis this concern was the desire to strengthen stakeholders support and linkage by both school administrators and teaching personnel.