55,000 students absent on first day of class in Puerto Rico
SAN JUAN – Approximately 55,889 students from Puerto Rico’s public school system were absent on their first day of class. According to charts published by Education Secretary Julia Keleher, of the 315,626 students enrolled to date, only 259,737 showed up for school, or only 82 percent for the island’s 1,113 public schools.
The educational region with the least attendance was San Juan, where only 61 percent of students were present, followed by Arecibo with 78 percent, Humacao and Ponce with 83 percent each, Bayamón with 88 percent, and Caguas with 91 percent.
The region with the highest attendance was Mayagüez, which reported 92 percent of enrolled students attended the first day of class.
Teaching and non-teaching personnel’s attendance surpassed 90 percent in all regions: 95 percent of teachers were present of 94 percent of other teaching and non-teaching staff, and 98 percent of the school principals.
The numbers were provided by the Education secretary on her Twitter account (@SecEducacionPR) after her inspection of several schools as part of the beginning of the school year.
Keleher also said earlier Monday that there are at least 160 vacancies for teachers for different areas, according to the estimated enrollment of 359,000 students. Vacancies may vary according to schools where their projected enrollment has changed, the Education secretary said .
The number of vacancies is also affected by teachers who declined their positions–a total of 37 between Aug. 1 and 12–and those who requested to be relocated. Of the requested transfers 321 out of 368 have been approved. The rest are being evaluated.