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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

DepEd official pushes ‘whole-of-society’ approach to address classroom shortage

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AN official of the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday underscored the importance of a “whole-of-society” approach in addressing the shortage of classrooms and school facilities in the basic education sector.

“We want to make sure that we have non-government organizations, private institutions, civil society organizations, and development partners to bring in the additional funding for us to add more classrooms outside of the budget provided for by government, and this is something that all of us need to realize,” Undersecretary for School Infrastructure and Facilities Epimaco V. Densing III said during National Planning Conference on the School Building Program (NPC-SBP) in Subic, Zambales.

During the event, field offices welcomed the renewed partnership between the DepEd and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in reinforcing the School Building Program (SBP) during the National Planning Conference on the NPC-SBP.

Likewise, DepEd Central Luzon Regional Director May B. Eclar expressed gratitude to the national and regional officials, school division superintendents, legal and planning officers, and engineers for continuously supporting the SBP.

“We are happy that the key players and decision-makers in our School Building Program from DepEd and DPWH are here to address the perennial issues and concerns pertaining to our School Building Program implementation,” Eclar said.

For his part, DepEd SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Director Carlito D. Rocafort mentioned, “if there are state of the art and complete school facilities, the commitment of teachers will be renewed and the achievement of learners will also definitely increase.”

It may be recalled that Vice President and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte, in her Basic Education Report (BER) 2023, acknowledged that “one of the most pressing problems” affecting teaching and learning is the lack of school facilities and infrastructures.

The four-day conference featured discussions on the Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) 2030 Commitments, Guidelines on the Implementation of BEFF, Securing Valid Site Ownership of Schools as Preliminary Requirements of the School Building Program, Standard School Building Designs, and Medium Rise School Buildings, among others.

“Through this renewed partnership on SBP, especially now that the MATATAG Agenda has been launched, we in DepEd RO6 hope and believe that the nationwide gaps and shortages in classrooms and other school buildings will be fully addressed or minimized,” DepEd Western Visayas Regional Director Dr. Ramir B. Uytico emphasized.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Administration Kristian R. Ablan stressed the importance of being resourceful in building strong and resilient buildings.

“Let’s think out of the box, mga RDs (regional directors) and SDSs (school district superintendents), let’s discuss how we can be more efficient in planning and using the BEFF but not just limit it to that. Let’s think of other resources on how to build our classrooms,” Ablan said. -30–

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