Severe classroom shortage marked opening of classes in Albay

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DARAGA, Albay, June 4 — The first day of classes in Albay was disorderly with jampacked classrooms that reminded one of a can of sardines. Some teachers even held classes in covered courts with black boards serving as dividers. The severe scarcity of classrooms was aggravated by the implementation of the K-12 program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Violeta Millete, principal of the Daraga National High School (DNHS), said they lack about 40 classrooms to accommodate almost 4,000 high school students here. “At the moment, we have 60 students per classroom but some teachers temporarily hold classes in the covered court, specifically the fourth year students, due to lack of classrooms,” Millete said.

Aside from the shortage of school classrooms, the DNHS is deficient in instructional materials, DepEd modules and science laboratory and other facilities, the school principal said. To accommodate the big number of students, Millete said, they have adopted the shifting of classes, aside from having night high school sessions.

“Currently, we have more than 3,000 students enrolled and the enrollment is still going on for late enrollees and transferees. We don’t refuse late enrollees and transferees as education is for all. Our concern is the school facilities. While public school teachers are ready to implement the K-12 program, the DepEd modules and classrooms are not yet ready.” Millete said.

Co said he will asked the Philippine Amusement and Games Corp. to build at least 16 classrooms in the DNHS to decongest the big number of students packed like sardines, thus, resolve the scarcity of classrooms here.

Rep. Fernando Gonzalez expressed apprehension over the possible big number of school dropouts, specifically among poor families, due to the distance of schools from their dwellings and that classrooms that can accommodate senior high school students are not ready.

“Many students will be displaced due to the distance of their homes from schools, badly affecting poor families here. The transportation expenses will be doubled, which is hard for poor families. DepEd is not ready for K-12. The department must construct and prepare everything before it implements the K-12 program so that students from far-flung areas will not be displaced,” Gonzalez said.

Though the Albay third district lawmaker is expediting the construction of numerous public schools in an effort to help the education department decongest the big number of students currently packed up like sardines in various schools here. (from PNA report by Rhaydz B. Barcia)


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