Region 12: no shortage in classrooms

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/31 May) — The Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12 is not expecting any shortage in the region this year in terms of classrooms and related facilities.

Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd Region 12 director, said they have already filled the classroom requirements of all public elementary and public school in the region based on their targeted enrolment of 1.3 million pupils and students for school year 20015-2016.

He said this figure is around 177,000 higher than the region’s enrolment record of 1.123 million in the previous school year.

Farnazo did not cite the number of available classrooms in the area but assured that they are enough to meet the standard classroom-to-student ratio of 1:45.

He said they were able to fill the gap with the construction of 959 classrooms in various parts of Region 12 during school year 2014-2015.

They have also completed during the Brigada Eskwela or national school maintenance week the repair and rehabilitation of the dilapidated classrooms, specifically those built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he said

“As of now we have sufficient classrooms to accommodate our enrolees and we’re ready to welcome them all for the opening of classes,” he said in a radio interview.

The national government released a total of P960.8 million in the previous school year for the construction of 929 additional classrooms in the region.

The new classrooms were intended to fill the region’s backlog of 277 classrooms last year and address the need for the junior and senior high school classes of the K to 12 education program.

The K to 12 program, which was first implemented by DepEd in 2012, provided an additional two years to the country’s basic education program.

It covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education, comprising six years of primary education, four years of junior high school and two years of senior high school.

“Right we have additional classrooms being constructed but they are for the implementation of the senior high school program in 2016,” Farnazo said.

In terms of teachers, he said the region earlier received a hiring quota of 1,872 for this school year.

He said they are targeting to fill the initial slots by next week, in time for the formal opening of classes.

Owing to this, Farnazo said they expect a turnout of 95 percent for the enrolled pupils and students during the opening of classes on Monday, June 1.

He urged parents and guardians of the school children to send them to school on the opening day.

“We will have our lesson one on day one so we want all our pupils and students to report on June 1,” he added. (MindaNews)