DepEd 7: 75% of schools in region lack classrooms

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AN OFFICIAL of the Department of Education (DepEd) 7 admitted that out of the 4,671 public and private schools in the region, around 3,475, or 75 percent, lack enough classrooms.

But in a press conference on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, DepEd 7 Director Salustiano Jimenez emphasized that at least 1,000 of the classrooms that were damaged by typhoon Odette (Rai) on Dec. 16, 2021 have already been used after undergoing repair.

“We have a thousand classrooms that need repairs due to typhoon Odette but even if we have this shortage we will still be able to open our doors in school for our learners because of the strategy that our school heads have been adopting and implementing,” Jimenez said.

The DepEd 7 estimated a turnout of two million students, including late enrollees and transferees, as of August 25. As of Aug. 26, 1,999,363 students were officially enrolled for the school year 2022-2023, Jimenez said.

The DepEd 7 received the P1.2 billion budget for the repair of trusses, roofs and ceilings of damaged classrooms, but the project was delayed as the agency could not hold a public bidding for the repair works, which was banned during the election period.

The DepEd 7 also requested a P6 billion fund from their central office for the construction of new school buildings and repair of the remaining damaged classrooms.

“There are still some unfunded projects but most of these have funds already because the national government through the DepEd downloaded to us the budget for the repairs,” Jimenez added.