Building of more public classrooms in Davao City pushed

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 January)—A city councilor here has proposed the construction of more two-story classroom buildings in anticipation of an increase in student population this coming 2014-2015 school year.

Councilor Maria Belen Acosta, chair of the city council’s committee on education, said in an interview the city is already short of public school classrooms for 2013-2014 with the enrollees in elementary and high school levels reaching almost 300,000.

Acosta said the additional classrooms could also address flooding problems, especially since schools have become de facto evacuation sites in cases of floods that occur after heavy rainfall.

Her proposal comes a week before the Department of Education (DepEd) is set to conduct on January 25 the early registration for public schools nationwide to assess the incoming student population in advance.

DepEd Memorandum No. 2 series of 2014, signed by Secretary Armin Luistro, said the early enrollment would include out-of-school youth, street children aged 5 to 18, and indigenous peoples.

The specific target of the early registration are all five-year olds to ensure their enrollment in kindergarten and all six-year olds to ensure that they are enrolled in Grade 1 come June, according to a DepEd statement.

“We want to prevent logistical problems when the new school year starts in June. If our school heads know how many students they will have ahead of time, they can better prepare classrooms, seats and learning materials,” Luistro said in the statement.

Data from DepEd Region XI showed there are 1,632 public elementary schools and 301 public high schools for the school year 2013-2014 in the area.

Davao del Sur has the most number of enrolled students for both elementary and high school, at 344,777 and 112,268 students, respectively.

Davao Oriental has the lowest total enrollees in the region at 127,465 elementary and high school students.

For Davao del Sur, Davao City has 285 public elementary schools with 197,571 students and 70 public high schools with 73,403 enrollees.

Magallanes Elementary School has the highest enrollment for 2013-2014, according to the DepEd data, at 6,012 students, with Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Central Elementary School having 4,290 students.

Also among the elementary schools with the highest enrollees in the city are Don Juan dela Cruz Central Elementary School at 4,012 students and Buhangin Central Elementary School at 3,965.

For public high schools, Sta. Ana National High School has the highest number of enrollees at 6,879 students; Daniel R. Aguinaldo High School, 6,403; F. Bangoy National High School, 4,500; and Dona Carmen Denia National High School, 4,090. (MindaNews)