DepEd conserves heritage schools

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RECOGNIZING its significant part in the history of Philippine education, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said it will restore the decades-old Gabaldon and other heritage school buildings.

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Education Secretary Armin Luistro said the conservation of the heritage schools is  important in bringing consciousness and awareness on the rich culture of the country.

“Education is about connecting with the stories of the past. Education is about passing on the core values and knowledge of the past,” he added.

“Almost every school division has an old school building that brings with it many stories of the past. Many parts of our history are conjoined with these campuses and school buildings,” the DepEd chief said.

In 2013, DepEd released the guidelines on implementation of the conservation of Gabaldon and other heritage school buildings in the country. Since then, it has started compiling a comprehensive listing and mapping of the heritage schools.

To date, there are reportedly 1,446 Gabaldon heritage school buildings all over the country. Many of them are now over a hundred years old and are considered part of the country’s heritage. It was in these schools that the public education system in the Philippines was born.

The Gabaldon school buildings were named after the late lawmaker Isauro Gabaldon, who authored Republic Act 1801, which appropriated P1 million for the construction of school buildings in every municipality in the country.

Luistro said restoration of the heritage schools is not DepEd’s project alone, adding that while the government will work on the most urgent projects of restoration, the agency needs the help of the whole community in this endeavor.

“In cooperation with various government agencies, DepEd would like to make sure that the remaining heritage school sites continue to be part of what our nation will be proud of decades later,” the DepEd chief added.

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