CARMONA, Cavite: The perennial problem of classroom shortage in public schools has already been addressed, President Benigno Aquino 3rd proudly announced on Monday.
In his speech during the cermonial turnover of the new classrooms in Carmona National High School, the President said that the government has finally erased the backlog of 66,800 classrooms that he inherited from the past administration.
He said that the government managed to mobilize partnerships with various government agencies, local government units (LGUs), the private sector and foreign donors to help meet the target.
“Ang tagumpay po nating ito ay hindi bunga ng milagro, o ng dinoktor na mga numero. Kongkretong bunga ito ng pagkakaisa, dedikasyon, at propesyunalismo at ng matuwid nating paggugol ng pondo [This success is not due to miracle or manipulated numbers but a concrete product of unity, dedication and professionalism as well as the proper use of public funds],” Aquino added.
According to the Department of Education (DepEd), more than 35,000 classrooms were funded by the national budget; 13,189 classrooms from LGUs; 14,886 from local donations; 1,215 from foreign donations; and 2,242 from public-private partnership for school infrastructure project. The classrooms ranged from one-story structure to multi-floor buildings.
Aside from addressing various backlogs, President Aquino said that DepEd also has to manage the implementation of the K to 12 curriculum, which aims to boost the quality of high school graduates by preparing them for tertiary education, middle-level skills development, employment and entrepreneurship.
He also recognized DepEd for also addressing the shortage of teachers and other basic education materials such textbooks and chairs.
He praised Education Secretary Armin Luistro and the rest of the department for a “job well done.”
Meanwhile, the President revealed that the DepEd is currently hiring professionals for 4,000 teaching positions.
He reiterated that education is the central strategy in reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.
“Ngayong napunuan na ang mga kakulangan ng nakaraan, kompiyansa tayong mas mapapaarangkada pa—hindi lamang ang sektor ng edukasyon—kundi maging ang pag-unlad ng kalakhang lipunan,” he added.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE