The Daily Manila Shimbun


No problems reported in first day of classes for estimated 27.7m students

June 5, 2017

No problems were reported on first day of classes for over millions of students all over the country.. Education Secretary Leonor Briones said, “So far there is no reports yet that there is a problem because we have prepared a lot for this school opening”. Briones said there are an estimated 27.7 million enrolled students in over 75,000 schools nationwide including Alternative Learning Centers. Briones said in a press conference on June 1, the education department are still facing classroom shortages. She said classroom shortages have been reduced to around 47,000 and 10,000 classrooms to be replaced from 66,000 last year. “There is really a lack of space…There are land donations before but now no one wants to donate land so our alternative is build high-rise (buildings) but of course high-rise building would cost more”, Briones said. Alain Del Pascua, Education Undersecretary for Administrative Service said, Department of Education targeted 107,920 classrooms for 2014-2016. Pascua said 50,370 classrooms were constructed before the opening of classes, with 38.81 percent of the remaining classrooms are under construction while 12 percent are under procurement. He said Metro Manila has 18,058 classroom shortages computed based on ideal situation. “These 18,000 classroom shortages at the moment. If we utilize all the facilities that we have like some of the classrooms are being split into two, some of the classes are having blocking of schedules or they would have two to three shifts, we barely have a shortage here in Metro Manila”, he said. Pascua said the 700 schools in Metro Manila needs one building with 25 classrooms in order to solve the shortage problem. Ponciano Menguito, National Capital Region Director, said the remaining schools under construction are expected to be completed on July. Menguito said 25 percent of elementary and 30 percent of high school are single shifts in National Capital Region. Briones said the departments of education and local government units are trying to solve the classroom shortage problem and catch up with the increase of enrollment every year. She said Dep Ed is thinking of two solutions. They can build a high-rise building which will cost more or build schools outside urban communities where students will be fetched by a school bus. She said they are expecting an increase of enrollment in Iligan City, Cagayan De Oro, Lanao Del Norte, Zamboanga and Cotabato , where around 20,000 displaced students from Marawi are likely to continue their education. Briones welcomed Alisher Babao ,60, a resident from Marawi City who plans to transfer his three children to Metro Manila. Babao said two of his children will study in President Corazon Aquino High School. One of them is an incoming senior high school  student and the other is an incoming junior  while his younger daughter will join her siblings in Manila. Mayor Joseph Estrada joined Briones in opening the first day of classes at the President Corazon Aquino High School. Estrada promised one shuttle bus for school use. (Alanna Ambi/DMS)