In news reports, Education Sec. Armin Luistro was quoted as saying that the Department of Education (DepEd) was ready for school year 2012-2013. “We’re ready. In fact, all students who will come to school on the first day of classes will have a seat and textbook ready for them.”
At the Corazon Aquino Elementary School in Batasan, Quezon City, the books just arrived on June 4. According to Paulino Medrano, school principal, they have yet to distribute the books to the students.
This slideshow shows the dismal state of public schools in Quezon City alone as another school year began. The progressive teachers of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) visited some schools in Quezon City namely Payatas B Elementary School, Payatas C Elementary School, Batasan Hills National High School. Bulatlat.com, on the other hand, visited the Corazon Aquino Elementary School also in Quezon City.
The figures of shortages are glaring; the public schools across the country still needs an additional 50,921 classrooms, 74,178 teachers, 123,196 toilets, 62.4 million textbooks and about 1.3 million classroom chairs – a gap that the DepEd targets to fill up until 2016. In the meantime, a lot of parents complained that their children were suddenly transferred to the home school program, without any prior notice, to decongest public schools and give an image that all is well and that shortages are a thing of the past. In reality, the implementation of the K to 12 program, without any budgetary support, made the shortages only worse.
Text by ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL
Photos by Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and ANNE MARXZE D. UMIL