A two-storey building that could accommodate 519 learners was built in Basud Elementary School, Sorsogon West, Sorsogon City by SM Foundation amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Claire Hariri, SM corporate spokesperson, said the two-storey building with four classroom and complete amenities was constructed in the middle of pandemic to address and augment classroom requirements of the education department in a bid to address the new normal scheme following the blended teaching method to be implemented in August this year.
"The SMFI put up a handwashing facility to promote sanitation among students and school personnel. This teaches them the importance of proper hygiene in combating disease borne by viruses and bacteria," Hariri said.
As part of its design strategy, the building was maximized by integrating the literacy and numeracy corner, clinic and guidance office.
"These were in addition to regular features and equipment in an SM school building (like) student armchairs for right and left-handed students, teacher’s tables and chairs, wall fans, wall clocks, washrooms and panoramic concave blackboards in each classroom," she said.
The newly built school was turnover by the foundation to the Department of Education (DepEd) in Sorsogon.
Gilbert Sadsad, DepEd Bicol regional director, said during the Interagency Task Force meeting yesterday that they're now accounting the rooms used as temporary quarantine areas of the returning Bicolanos in respective provinces of the region.
Sadsad said that they're readying the rooms for the upcoming school opening to be used by teachers here.
Currently, more than 1 million students have enrolled in the Bicol region for school year 2020-2021, despite the threat of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, he said.
Based on the latest data released by DepEd Bicol, there are at least 60,818 students enrolled in kindergarten; 468,923 in elementary; 322,386 in junior high and 134,621, senior high schools.
While 4,208 students with disabilities are also enrolled in public school and 13,825 are listed for the Alternative Learning System (ALS), the DepEd data showed.
Mayflor Marie Jumamil, DepEd information officer in Bicol said the students enrolled in public schools as of June 30 were 965,592 while 39,189 students were enrolled in private schools.
Jumamil expects that the number of enrollees will increase following the extension of enrollment until July 15 by order of DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones.
"As of today, the DepEd Bicol is focusing and preparing modules so these would be ready for production or reproduction by school divisions and schools by July.
The loocal government units would help us distribute learning modules to the students," she said.
The DepEd spokesperson also stressed that there was no need to buy gadgets for school as Bicol will be employing blended teaching scheme here.