By Merlina Hernando Malipot
While congestion in some public schools remains one of the common problems during school opening, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that the deficiencies on basic education “are already a small proportion.”
DepEd Assistant Secretary and Chief of Staff Atty. Nepomuceno Malaluan said that when DepEd looked at various deficiencies in public schools, “you would see that it is already a small proportion if you take the whole number in totality.”
Nepomuceno noted that “unfortunately, when one shows exactly one area or one school where that deficiency is there, it sometimes gives a thinking that it is what happens in the rest of the education system.”
Citing the results of its latest data, Malaluan noted that the deficiencies on basic education “are already a small proportion” and that “the backlogs have been addressed already” – especially in terms of implementing the K to 12 Basic Education Program.
Focus on facilities
Data from Education Facilities Division as of May 11, 2018 obtained by the Manila Bulletin showed that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) “completed the construction of 10, 401 classrooms” between July 27 and December 2017 using the 2017 funds.” .
Meanwhile, an additional “44, 422 classrooms, using the 2014-2017 funds, are ongoing construction and are expected to be completed in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.”
DepEd – through DPWH – is also targeting to construct 28, 170 classrooms with an appropriation of P70.5 billion for 2018.
DepEd data also showed that the “construction of 243 Technical-Vocational laboratories completed between July and December 2017.” Meanwhile, an additional “329 laboratories are ongoing construction and expected to be completed in the Q1 of 2018.”
With an appropriation of P14.5 billion for 2018, DepEd, through DPWH is also “targeting construction of 5, 913 additional workshops and laboratories.”
When it comes to repairs, DepEd data showed that 7,001 classrooms have been “repaired between July and December 2017” while an “additional 11,331 classrooms are expected to be repaired in Q1 of 2018.”
DepEd said that National School Building inventory for SY 2016-2017 shows that the total number of classrooms for Elementary is 414, 943 and for Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS) is 159, 141.