There are public and private schools in the province offering elementary and secondary courses. There are also non-formal education, pre-school and special education for the disabled, impaired, autistic mentally retarded children.

The Schools Division of Surigao Del Sur is composed of 26 school districts covering 412 elementary schools, 65 secondary schools 5 of this are CHED supervised vocational/technical schools. These 26 school districts are managed by their respective school principals, as school administrators while the school district supervisor handle the institutional and curricular supervision. Private schools, on the other hand, numbered 27. Eight are offering elementary courses while the 19 offer courses.

In the rural areas where enrolment is low, combination/multi-grade class programs are being institutionalized. These classes served as an alternate delivery system adopted to provide access to quality education for school children living in the remote areas. So far we have 207 schools with 401 multi-grade classes & the enrolment reached a headcount of 15,295 pupils.

The opening of SPED classes from pre-school to grade six were initiated as mandated in DECS Order No. 108, s., 1999, to strengthen special education for the gifted/fast learners and talented pupils. The SPED Center is stationed at Tandag Central Elem. School while other SPED classes are also organized in the 15 (out of 26) schools districts throughout the schools division.

With the aggregate bulk of enrolment, and considering depreciation of some volume of old textbooks, which needs replacement, there is a shortage of 318,652 usable (old edition) textbooks, and 386,492 new generation textbooks. This is the computed need at 6-8 subjects as against the total 657,571 enrolled textbook.

There are 9 colleges in the province, three (3) of which are public, the Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State college (SSPSC) in Tago the LGU-initiated, self-liquidating community college named as University of Southeastern Philippines (USP) in Bislig and another USP campus in Hinatuan, both are external campuses of USP in Davao City. The remaining six (6) colleges are private, four (4) of which are sectarian while the other two (2) are non-sectarian, viz: the St. Theresa College (STC) in Tandag, the St. Michael's College (SMC) in Cantilan, John Bosco College (JBC) in Bislig, St. Vincent de Paul, Andres Soriano College (ASC) and Southern Technological Institute of the Philippines (STIP) all in Mangagoy, Bislig City. All these colleges tried their best to cater to the educational aspirations of the people and they offer programs which are affordable by them. They likewise envisioned producing responsive, employable and competitive graduates who shall serve as agents for social transformation.

However, most of these institutions cannot be compared with established colleges and universities in the cities in terms of facilities, since they are still young and developing and they are faced with the great challenge of attaining excellence in all their programs while remaining as affordable institutions of higher learning. They are experiencing the difficulties of a neophyte trying to fit into the role of an established SUC. Perhaps, those are the very reasons why incoming college students migrate to big cities like Manila, Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro where big colleges and universities offer a wide array of courses and vast opportunities for them to choose. There are also vocational courses offered by the different SSPSC campuses under the secondary education supervised by the CHED, namely: SSPSC Campuses in Cagwait, San Miguel, Lianga, Tagbina and the SSIT in Cantilan.

Vocational courses offered are in accordance with their specialization. Trade and Industry in Cagwait Campus, Agri-forest Science Center in San Miguel .Campus, Aquamarine Technology in Lianga Campus Agricultural Business in Tagbina and Industrial Technology in Cantilan Campus.

Another agency which is mandated to provide relevant accessible, high quality and efficient technical education and skills development is Technical Education and Skills Development Authority or TESDA. This institution is composed of the National Manpower & Youth Council (NMYC), Bureau of Technical Vocational Education of the DECS (BTVE) and the Office of the Apprenticeship, Bureau of Local Employment, and DOLE, merged into one body. TESDA now serves as the manager of the Technical Vocational Educational Training Sector. However TVET is sometimes undertaken in State Universities & Colleges (SUC's) under the supervision of the CHED.

At present, there is no TESDA administered schools and colleges in the province of Surigao Del Sur, however, it has managed to operate in our II TVET institutions, the SSPC college cluster (the different municipalities already mentioned), five (5) campuses in Cantilan, Tago, Cagwait, San Miguel, Lianga and Tagbina and in private colleges; namely: St. Theresa College, Tandag, St. Michaels College, Cantilan, Sn Vincent de Paul College, John Bosco & Southern Technological Institute of the Philippines all in Bislig City.

Some problems/limitations experienced by TESDA in its operation is the lack of classrooms/laboratory shops, limited courses offered due to absence of trainers to handle trainings, no available positions/items.

Despite this dilemma besetting TESDA, it has managed to operate and has catered the simple ambition of our Out-of-School Youth, the unemployed, jobless mothers, Balikbayan Overseas Workers. Though limited, it dreamed to open a wider door of direction, strong linkages of partnership of the LGUs to pursue its major reforms and orchestrates multi-sectorial efforts towards an independent and sustainable system supportive to the need of the Surigaonon in engaging into a gainful employment & productivity thereby establishing centers of excellence in the institutions it supervised.

The greatest bulk of enrollment was accommodated by the public schools constituting about 93 percent of the total enrollment in SY 2001-2002. Enrollment in the public and private elementary schools summed up to 95,431, public schools registering a total of 93,290 enrollees and 2,141 in the private schools. In the same school year, secondary level, enrolled a total of 27,360 students with 20,905 in the public schools and the 6,455 in the private schools.

On the other hand, enrolment in the vocational education totaled 1,750, females comprise 971 while males numbered 779. Out of the total enrolment, SSIT got the highest with 487 followed by SSPSC Lianga with 458, San Miguel with 184 and the least is Cagwait with 182.

These campuses have played a special role in the development of technocrats of different specialized skills and expertise. Meanwhile, the tertiary level registered a total of 5,298 students. In the same school year, Tandag SSPSC campus got the highest count, reaching 1,563 followed by Cantilan campus with 1,237, then Lianga 582, Tagbina, 243, San Miguel 185 & Cagwait got the lowest with only 98 enrollees.

A number of students in these campuses, took up 2-year technology courses; viz, 235 students in Tandag campus, 343 students in Cantilan campus followed by Lianga campus with 281 head count, then Tagbina got 219 enrollees, 194 in Cagwait and San Miguel SSPSC has 118 head count. About 77.58 percent of the total enrollees took up Bachelor's Degree.

Gross Participation Rate
Participation Rate in the elementary schools was placed at 88.07 percent in SY 2001-2002, public schools registering the highest participation rate with 88.07 percent. Public secondary school is in no better position than its elementary school counterpart. Participation Rate is lower than the elementary level with 64.13 percent, public secondary with 52.56 percent and 11.57 for private secondary schools.

Survival, Drop - out and Graduation Rates
In the Division of Surigao del Sur, about 63 out of 100 pupils who enrolled in Grade 1 reached Grade VI in SY 2001-2002. Drop - out rate marked 9.75 percent in the elementary level with Tago registering the highest dropout rate of 18.07 percent. In the same period, graduation rate in the elementary level was recorded at 98.88 percent. The municipality of Carrascal, Marihatag, Tandag and Mangaoy II posted a 100 percent Graduation Rate. At the secondary level, 70 out of 100 freshmen reached fourth year in the same school year. Drop - out rate was placed at 10.72 percent while graduation rate was recorded at 94.25 percent. Tagasaka National High School in Hinatuan registered the highest drop-out rate in the secondary level even thrice higher than the Division's figure.

Teachers and Teacher - Pupil Ratio
In SY 2001-2002 a total of 2,808 teachers served the government elementary schools. Teacher - Pupil ratio was placed at 1:33 and is within the national standard ratio of 1:40. San Agustin has the highest teacher - pupil ratio at 1:45 while Cantilan I and Madrid have the lowest both with 1:24.

Classroom-pupil ratio is just on the average of one classroom to every 40 pupils. However, some public elementary schools are experiencing overcrowding due to lack of classrooms like Mangagoy II and San Miguel both with classroom-pupil ratio of 1:47. There is lack of textbook in the elementary level as evidenced by the textbook-pupil ratio of 1:3.

Teachers in the public secondary schools summed up to 741 indicating a teacher-student ratio of 1:28. Almost all municipalities are falling within or are even much lower than the standard ratio except for Barobo National High School, Lingig National High School and Unidad National High School all of which indicated a teacher-student ratio of 1:42.

Lack of classrooms is very much noticeable. Table 3.16 indicates that there is congestion in most of the public secondary schools where almost of the schools are beyond the standard ratio There is a shortage of 145 classrooms and lacks 335 secondary armchairs. Textbook - Student ratio marked 1:3.7.