• New school year, same old problems


    STUDENTS will encounter the same old problems when classes open on June 1: higher tuition, cramped classrooms, and shortage of teachers and textbooks, according to Rep. Terry Ridon of Kabataan party-list.

    Ridon said data from the Department of Education (DepEd) showed that 209,539 classrooms are needed to meet the ratio of 30 students to one classroom. Also, the DepEd needs an additional 114,304 teachers as well as sanitation and water facilities.

    More than 21 million students in all levels are expected to enrol this year.

    “The school year will open in a bleak tone, with students and parents not only facing new and higher fees, but also the same old problem of shortages in classrooms, books, teachers, and facilities,” Ridon said.

    “With the government’s continued misprioritization, coupled with the disastrous implementation of the K-to-12 program, students will again suffer from overcrowded classrooms, lack of books, and overloaded teachers. How can our schools be conducive to learning under such circumstances?” Ridon asked.

    Youth and student organizations will stage protest rallies to slam the Commission on Higher Education’s decision to allow 313 colleges and universities to increase their tuition and other fees. The protest campaign involves the stamping of the phrase “paid under protest” on the registration forms of students as a sign of defiance.

    Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy additional policemen to secure schools and students.

    PNP Officer-in-Charge Leonardo Espina mobilized police regional offices for the police force’s Ligtas Balik-Eskwela 2015 program.

    In Metro Manila, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will field its 24,000-strong personnel in strategic areas within the vicinity of schools for foot, mobile and police visibility patrols and Police Assistance Desks (PADs).


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