MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) said on Wednesday, August 10, that it lacks around 91,000 classrooms for school year 2022 to 2023.
DepEd Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III told the House committee on basic education and culture that the figures came from department’s survey conducted among their regional offices.
It was not mentioned whether the data accounts for classrooms needed should schools implement physical distancing in the coming school year.
To address lack of classrooms in time for the opening of classes on August 22, Densing said that the DepEd will implement class shifting schedules and build temporary spaces.
With such interventions, DepEd said the classroom shortage would go down to 40,000.
In a joint briefing of the DepEd and Office of the Vice President on Wednesday, DepEd spokesperson Michael Poa said their current data showed that areas in Metro Manila and Calabarzon are still at the student-classroom ratio of 68:1.
“Ang unang strategy natin diyan will be to implement shifting schedules sa kanila. Hopefully, mga dalawang shifts lang. Kung ‘di talaga kaya, doon tayo magtatatlo,” Poa said.
(Our first strategy there will be to implement shifting schedules for them. Hopefully, there would only be two shifts. If not, that’s the time we would have three.)
As for the temporary learning spaces, Densing said DepEdwill partner with the private sector and local government units to use basketball courts and tents as temporary learning spaces.
Each learning space will cost around P180,000, Poa said.
Densing said the DepEd is “fast-tracking” their strategies to address the potential shortage but stressed that the opening of classes on August 22 would push through. – Ashley dela Vega and Almira Coleen/Rappler.com
Ashley dela Vega and Almira Coleen are Rappler interns.