Something we can say with certain degree of certitude: the Philippine education system stinks when it comes to offering positive learning environment and delivery of standard services to the multitude of youths in their critical stage of impressionistic, yet open minds.
Consider. It was not a surprise to find a deluge of new classroom dwellers for the just opened school year of 2011. This the education department has known far more in advance. And what a downpour of new entrants in all levels of the public school system beyond it can accommodate, and accommodate with a certain degree of comfort. These students will be under pressure and in complete discomfort, more often than not.
In metro areas, classes will be in shifts due to lack of classrooms with no sight of immediate relief. In fact, this has been going on forever, at first intended as palliative approach but stayed on and became standard! A stinking standard of sorts. Don’t get the surprise of your life, schoolrooms are packed with young ones comparable to a sardine can, no much legroom and healthy breathing space.
Here in town, we visited Calabanga’s Sabang High School as a sampler. We saw students jumping in and out of one classroom window. This early we presumed the students are into gymnastics, or track hurdle practice. But a closer look reveal the door needs immediate repair or maintenance, and much of the windows, of many of the buildings in the campus are in their state of disrepair.
That particular building was actually a donation by a private person to the high school, not from the coffers of the government, though.
How many more are dilapidated and wanting of proper maintenance in the municipality and in the region of Bicol?
Recently, the education department (DepEd) released P7 billion for building and repair but limited to 9,000 classrooms only. The same money also will be used for purchase of office furniture. But of these total fund, the National Capital region received a lion’s share of P1 billion, southern Tagalog or Calabarzon took P841M, the autonomous region for Muslim Mindanao shared P660 million and central Visayas had P563 million. The remaining crumb went to regions other than those mentioned here.
The released money came from the P11.29-billion budget item called “lump sum fund for the requirements of basic educational facilities.
The agency’s Physical Facilities and School’s Engineering Division clarified that for each elementary classroom built from the current year’s funds, there should be 23 tables and 46 chairs, and a minimum 45 armchairs for each secondary classroom.
According to DepEd “this is in line with President Aquino’s Social Contract with the Filipino People, where education is the central strategy for investing in the people and enhancing the youth’s opportunity to gain meaningful employment.”