By GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN de Oro City—The Philippine Gaming Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is expected to break the grounds that will pave the way for the construction of two 4-storey 20-classroom school buildings worth P41 million each to a school in Iligan City and Misamis Oriental today (September 17, 2015).
The two beneficiaries are the El Salvador Central School (ESCS) in Misamis Oriental and Iligan National High School (INHS) in Iligan City.
In partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Pagcor will provide the fundings for the construction of the two school buildings.
Founded in 1920, the ESCS is the oldest public elementary school in El Salvador in Misamis Oriental. Despite having a population of 1,610 this school year, 80 percent of the school’s classrooms are dilapidated and only seven classrooms are in good condition, said ESCS Principal Lina Bejiga.
The increasing number of transferees is also making it hard for the school to provide decent learning venues to its students. At present, the school’s student to classroom ratio reaches as high as 1:60 (one classroom per 60 students).
INHS, on one hand, which was built in 1963, is not only the oldest but also one of the most populous public high school in Northern Mindanao. With over 7,000 students and only 104 functional classrooms, the school implements a morning and afternoon shift to accommodate all its students.
With the ongoing implementation of the K-12 basic education program, INHS expects a yearly increase of 1,600 students.
INHS Principal Rex Razo said that with the K-12 program, their school’s enrolment may even balloon to 11,000 by year 2017, which is tantamount to the need for more decent classrooms.
Because of severe classroom shortage, the school has turned its laboratories into lecture rooms while some would hold classes outdoors.
Although the average number of students per class in INHS ranges from 50 to 60, the student to classroom ratio of 1:60 is doubled because of the implementation of morning and afternoon shifts.
The soon-to-be constructed four-storey 20-classroom Pagcor building at the INHS is the biggest multi-storey building that the INHS has ever received, said Razo.
Although the new school building will not completely solve the school’s problems on K-12 implementation, it will help decongest the number of students in each class, added Razo.
He said: “We may even consider holding one shift in some year levels after the Pagcor building is constructed.”
Dubbed as Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan, the project tends to highlight the Aquino government’s campaign for good governance through the “tuwid na daan” principle
The main goal of the Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan project is to build thousands of bigger and better classrooms for students enrolled in public schools all over the country. It complements the Aquino administration’s drive to reduce the acute deficiency in classrooms and school buildings in state-subsidized schools nationwide.
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