The Public School System reported that an impressive 97 percent of senior students in public schools in the CNMI graduated last month.
Commissioner of Education Rita A. Sablan disclosed to the Board of Education that 632 senior students successfully completed the requirements for their secondary education during school year 2011-2012, compared to 654 freshmen students registered four years ago.
From the over 600 graduates, Sablan said PSS saw a very high percentage of seniors who want to pursue post secondary education here and off-island.
She, however, also noted a significant number of students who will seek immediate employment after graduation.
Sablan earlier revealed that based on the senior exit poll conducted among five public high schools, 60 percent want to pursue college while 30 percent have plans to enter the military after high school.
The remaining 10 percent either want to seek employment elsewhere or are still undecided when the survey was conducted. The commissioner, however, admitted that the system has yet to track how many will pursue post secondary off-island and at the Northern Marianas College.
“We're very pleased with the survey [senior exit poll] because our data indicate a very high percentage of students who really want to pursue post secondary education,” she reported.
The commissioner also reported that during the end of fourth quarter of school year 2011-2012, PSS had registered a total of 10,495 students from kindergarten to high school. This figure, she said, shows a one-percent decrease from the figure posted during the beginning of the school year.
By the new school year, PSS is projecting a surge in enrollment as a result of the continuing drop in private schools' enrollment due to the economic slowdown. In previous school years, Saipan Tribune learned that private school enrollees averaged 2,500 from kindergarten to high school.
Education officials earlier said the proposed fiscal 2013 spending plan of only $29 million would hamper the system's ability to address its increasing population. PSS maintains 19 elementary, junior, and high school campuses on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. That is on top of 10 more Head Start facilities. It employs a little over 500 classroom teachers.