DepEd failed to address classroom shortage, big problem for f2f classes – Teachers’ Group
The Alliance of Concerned Teachers said that the Department of Education’s failure to build classrooms makes it extremely hard for teachers to prepare for the safe resumption of face-to-face classes.
“Matindi na ang kakulangan ng klasrum bago pa magpandemya. Wala namang ginawa ang DepEd para habulin ang konstruksyon sa dalawang taon na sarado ang mga paaralan. Lumala pa ang kalagayan nang masira ang mga klasrum sa mga bagyo at lindol. Hanggang ngayon, nakatiwangwang pa ang mga tinamaan ng kalamidad,” Raymond Basilio, the group’s secretary general, said.
Basilio said that ACT’s monitoring showed many unrehabilitated calamity-stricken classrooms in Bicol provinces, Ilocos, Cordillera, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Cebu City, Cebu Province, Naga City, Danao City, Bogo City, Bohol, Tagbilaran City, Surigao del Norte, Siargao and Dinagat Islands.
School divisions in the National Capital Region expect class sizes to reach 60 to 70 students due to lack of classrooms.
“We need to resume face-to-face classes at the soonest possible time to address learning loss and learners are very much eager to go back to school. We have to ensure a manageable class size of 35 learners or less to safeguard health and improve education quality. However, it seems that it is the government who is not earnest in this endeavor as it is obviously not doing its job,” Basilio said.
In 2018, the agency was only able to construct 608 classrooms or 2 percent of its 28,000 target.
“With the government’s failure to decisively address this problem, the burden now lies upon the teachers and students. Our teachers and parents are forced to work double time in Brigada Eskwela to repair anything that is repairable in the classrooms that were neglected for two years. They have no more rest and often have to shell out money to make the classrooms usable,” Basilio said.
“Two weeks before class opening and schools could still not figure out how classes will be conducted come August 22. Their only options are to jampack classes with huge numbers of learners which is not conducive to health and learning quality, enforce class shifts, hold classes under trees and makeshift learning spaces, or employ distance learning modalities—all of which are not the ideal set-up especially if we want education to recover from the crisis,” he added.