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  • Why I Decided To Enroll My Daughters In A Public School: 'All Schools Are Now Equal'

    A mom shares her decision to transfer her kids from private to public school.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Why I Decided To Enroll My Daughters In A Public School: 'All Schools Are Now Equal'
PHOTO BY courtesy of RJ Jabeguero-Rodillo
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    Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents are faced with difficult decisions regarding their children’s education. Many are wondering if they should just let their kids skip this school year, attempt homeschooling, or try blended learning or distance learning. Another question on their minds: If everything is online, anyway, should they just transfer their children to a public school?

    Mom Rose “RJ” Jabeguero-Rodillo, a working mom and a blogger, and her husband, James, faced the same dilemma with their two daughters, Jerusha, 9, and Jeorgina, 7, who are moving up to Grade 4 and Grade 2 respectively.

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    “My husband and I initially decided to skip this school year and just let our girls enjoy this unexpected break. Like other parents, I’ve once said that school can wait and the health and safety of my children are my priority,” she shares in an email interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

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    RJ eventually realized her kids’ education should not stop just because of the pandemic. This was around the time that the Department of Education’s (DepEd) proposed blended and distance learning for the new school year was approved. “The information [they] shared about their different learning delivery modes honestly caught my attention,” she says.

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    Preparing their family for the transfer

    RJ with her husband, James, and their daughters Jerusha and Jeorgina.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of RJ Jabeguero-Rodillo
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    Since her daughters were previously enrolled in a private school, RJ had to weigh her decision carefully. “Among my top concerns or fears transferring to a public school were: 1) the difficulty of the enrolment process, 2) that the learning approach might not be the [right] fit for us once I go back to the office (I’m currently working from home), and 3) my kids’ response to their new school setup,” she says.

    She started researching distance learning and checked out DepEd’s official Facebook page, reading their posts and quick-guide posters that revealed the agency’s plan for the new school year. She also sought the insights of fellow moms on our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village, and other mommy groups.

    The next step, which was also crucial, was talking to her kids about the transfer. Thankfully, they didn’t have any qualms about going to a new school. “At first I thought that they’ll go against it, but they did not,” RJ says. “I guess the ECQ has prepared them well for new adventures! They were even the ones who said that we can save more if they just study at home. I was so relieved that moment and I knew that it was my green light to go on and enlist them.”

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     “My girls were right — we will save more if they study at home in the meantime."

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    How to enroll your kids in a public school 

    RJ's two daughters gamely accepted their parents' decision to transfer them to a public school.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of RJ Jabeguero-Rodillo

    On her Facebook page, Mommy Moments PH, RJ shared how she was able to successfully enroll her kids in a public school nearest to their home in Bacoor, Cavite. The mom of two says that the process was quick and simple.

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    “Search for the nearest public school in your area and see if it has a Facebook page, or there’s a contact person for enrollment per school. A Google Form is shared per school where we can easily enlist our kids,” RJ says on her page.

    The online form is called the DepEd Automated Learner Enrollment and Survey Form (LESF), which asks about the learner’s info and a survey for parents on select topics concerning this new approach to learning, according to RJ. The form can be accomplished in 15 minutes. (DepEd has extended enrollment to July 15, 2020. Click here for more information on DepEd’s remote enrollment system.)

     No fee was required to enroll, explains RJ. “My girls were right — we will save more if they study at home in the meantime,” she says.

    A few weeks later, her daughters’ new advisers contacted RJ to confirm their Learner Reference Number (LRA) and PSA Reference Number. “Their advisers have already gotten in touch with me and have encouraged [me] to share with them any concerns that I might have, which I really appreciate,” RJ says.

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    "Ngayon, may ambag ang gobyerno sa pamilya ko!"

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    Looking forward to the ‘new normal’ in learning

    In preparation for online learning, RJ designated a "learning zone" in their home.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of RJ Jabeguero-Rodillo

    Although school has yet to start (it will officially open on August 24), RJ says she feels confident about her decision. “I was concerned that their approach or learning modality will not be friendly once I get back to the office. But upon checking the options, there is the ‘Asynchronous Online Distance Learning,” where the learners can study at their preferred time and schedule guided by the learning material to be provided by their teachers.

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    For parents who are contemplating transferring their kids to a public school, RJ says DepEd’s learning program is worth a second look. 

    “Why not tap an option where we get to benefit from our paid taxes? Ngayon, may ambag ang gobyerno sa pamilya ko!” the mom writes on her Facebook page.

    She tells Smart Parenting that no one knows if this new system will be “smooth-running and flawless since it’s the first run.” But the advantage is that parents will be part of this new system. “We can choose to protect our kids should there be glitches along the way,” RJ explains.

    “I strongly believe that now is the best time to be practical and for us parents to maximize our government resources and services to benefit our kids. Essentially, all schools are now equal since all our kids will be studying from home. The determining factor now is how we will guide our kids as their ‘homeschool teachers,’” RJ says.

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    She adds, “At the end of the day, whether we go private or public, our choices must be for no one else’s benefit but for our children — always.”

    Want to get started on DepEd's blended and distance learning program? Check out DepEd Commons here.

    Looking for learn-at-home options and wondering about tuition fee? Head to Smart Parenting Classroom now! 

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