Laguna school has no choice but to hold classes in unfinished building — ACT
MANILA, Philippines — A school in Laguna has no choice but to use the science high school building currently under construction due to the shortage of learning spaces, a teachers’ group said on Thursday.
According to the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), Aplaya National High School Annex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna will begin their full face-to-face classes on November 2, at the building undergoing construction.
Learners were even asked to bring their own chairs, said ACT.
“For so long, our government has not given due attention to the fact that while our learner population is constantly increasing, our school facilities are dilapidating.
“There is a steady need for a significant number of classrooms to be built every year to ensure that our students are provided spaces conducive to learning,” ACT chairperson Vladimer Quetua said in a statement.
According to ACT’s source, Aplaya High School Annex has a student population of more than 4,000, divided in 63 sections of 60 to 70 learners each, but only has 21 instructional classrooms.
Classes were held three shifts per day even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that full face-to-face classes are back, the shifts will be reduced to two.
“We are now shoved between the devil and the deep blue sea because of the government’s neglect of its duty to prepare for safe school reopening.
“Kailangan nang mag-aral ng mga bata sa classroom para maagapan ang learning crisis, pero paano naman sila matututo sa mga silid-aralan na hindi tapos, walang upuan, at may mga karpintero pang nagtatrabaho?” asked Quetua.
(Children already need to study in classrooms to solve the learning crisis. But how can they learn in unfinished classrooms with no school chairs and carpenters working alongside them?)
For the chairperson, the current administration appears “not sincere in addressing the learning crisis, but is merely interested in taking credit for being the one who has ordered for the resumption of face-to-face classes.”
The group said that the only solution to resolve these issues is “double the education budget, redirect the government infrastructure program to building more schools, classrooms and other social service facilities, fund the purchase of sufficient school furniture and learning materials, and hire more teachers and education support personnel.”
The Marcos administration only allocated a budget that can only cover the construction of 2,379 classrooms for 2023 while there is a shortage of 97,000 classrooms, said Quetua.
With DepEd Order No. 34, all public schools are directed to transition to five-day per week face-to-face classes on November 2 and will not be allowed to conduct distance learning after the said date. — Trisha Manalaysay, trainee
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