Albay: Shifts, night classes to address classroom shortage

ALBAY, Philippines – On the first day of classes on Monday, June 1, Daraga National High School welcomed more than 3,000 enrollees – a number that the principal was sure would reach 4,000 in the next few days, when late enrollees come.

The problem is, even if no additional students enroll, the school already lacks 40 classrooms.

“At the moment we have 60 students per classrooms, but some teachers are temporarily undertaking classes in a covered court, specifically the 4th year classes, due to lack of classrooms,” said principal Violeta Millete.

To accommodate the big number of students, Millete said, the school is enforcing shifts in classes and offers night high school.

“We don’t refuse late enrollees and transferees as education is for all. Our concerns are the school facilities,” she said. 

Daraga National High School also has a shortage of instructional materials and modules from the Department of Education. It is in need of a science laboratory, among other facilities, Millete said.

On Monday, Ako Bicol Representative Christopher Co had several black boards delivered to the Daraga National High School. 

The party-list congressman also promised to request the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to built at least 16 classrooms in Millete’s school.

Also on the opening of public schools on Monday, Albay 3rd District Representative Fernando Gonzalez inaugurated the Ligao City National Technical Vocational High School in Barangay Naisisi.

The newly-constructed two-storey, 10-classroom school building – funded by Gonzalez and the city government of Ligao through Mayor Patricia Gonzalez-Alsua – was turned over to Ligao City assistant schools division superintendent Maria Luisa Samaniego, other education officials, barangay officials, pioneer students, parents, and teachers.

The new school will cater to students from the villages of Nasisi, Batang, Nabonton, Basag, Bay, Mahaba, Pinit , and Herrera.

Gonzalez earlier expressed apprehension that a big number of students would drop out of school when an even more limited number of public schools will offer senior high school in 2016.

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

On Monday, close to 6,000 Albayanos lined up in the heat at the Embarcadero de Legazpi to avail themselves of the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Arnel Garcia, DSWD regional director, said 5,876 indigent college students had enlisted since Monday last week to be included in the list of beneficiaries.

Under the program, which has a P175-million funding from the central office, qualified college students from poor families will receive from P2,000 to P5,000 in cash. The applicant needs to submit valid identification papers of the parents of the student seeking assistance, a certificate of indigence and residence from the barangay council where the youth and his family live, and an assessment from the school where the youth is enrolled. – Rappler.com