School opening orderly, peaceful: DepEd

By Mar Serrano and Connie Calipay LEGAZPI CITY --- The opening of classes for the 1.65 million students in the entire Bicol Region was peaceful and orderly, according to the Department of Education (DepEd) Bicol regional office. DepEd Bicol regional information officer Mayflor Jumamil said the enrollment for this school year 2018-2019 rose by 12 percent from 1.5 million recorded the previous school year due to the implementation of the senior high school and because of the continuing enrollment. In last week’s report in this paper, however, DepEd Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede reported that enrolment for this school year increased from last school year’s 1.7 million to 1.75 million this year. Jumamil said following the standard 1:35 classroom-pupil ratio, the students enrolled this school year are accommodated in close to 58,374 classrooms spread over the six provinces of the region. On the issue of lack of classrooms, Jumamil explained that backlogs in the classroom are reported in urban areas such as cities and capital towns, where there is influx of learners. She said the availability of classroom is sufficient enough to cope with the new and old students in the rural areas. Jumamil further said that some P364M would be spent this year for the maintenance and repair of 11,224 classrooms in the six provinces of Bicol. She also bared that the department earmarked some P6.4B for the construction of 2,580 new classrooms for this school year. Asked about the classrooms destroyed by typhoon Nina, Jumamil said “based on the reports, it was done already and if not, the classrooms were replaced.” “We are closely coordinating with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), [which was] tasked to construct the programmed additional school buildings,” she said. Currently, there are 60,539 public school teachers in the elementary and secondary levels. Jumamil added that DepEd would also hire 6,000 new teachers to meet the ideal student-teacher ratio of 1:45. PNA