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The Department of Education (DepEd) is looking into the possible implementation of a three-day school week in the most congested schools in Metro Manila.
In a live interview with GMA News TV's “Balitanghali” aired on Wednesday, Education Assistant Secretary Jesus Mateo said the three-day school week scheme seems to be a viable solution to the perrenial classroom shortage in the Metro.
Mateo, nonetheless, said the department has yet to conduct further studies as well as consultations with parents.
“Ang kagandahan lang nito, mabre-break yung numero ng estudyante na papasok sa isang paaralan,” Mateo said.
“Halimbawa kung ang isang paaralan, ang kakayanin lang ay isang libo na mag-aaral pero ang pumasok ay dalawang libo, ang mangyayari niyan, yung isang libo pwedeng Monday, Wednesday, Friday yung isa namang grupo pwedeng Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, pero extended hours,” he added.
Mateo said that the plan was being considered only in the most congested schools in National Capital Region. He added that the three-day school week scheme would be implemented only in selected grade levels.
“Dun lang sa mga nasa tamang edad na, siguro Grade Five pataas,” Mateo said.
For the coming school year, the DepEd identified 20 congested schools in Metro Manila. These are:
Payatas B Elementary School (ES), Pres. Corazon Aquino ES, San Diego ES, Holy Spirit Nation High School (HS), San Bartolome HS and North Fairview HS in Quezon City;
Tinajeros National HS (Acacia Annex), Potrero National HS and Catmon Integrated School in Malabon City;
Sampaloc Site II ES and Don Galo ES in Parañaque City;
Bagong Tanyag (Annex B) and Bagong Tanyag ES (Annex A) in Taguig City:
Bagong Silang ES, Caloocan North ES, Libis Baesa ES (Baesa Annex) and Sampaguita HS in Caloocan City;
Captain Albert Aguilar National HS and Kalayaan National HS in Las Piñas City;
and Sto. Niño National High School in Marikina City.
Mateo said among the issues that need to be addressed as regards the possible implementation of the scheme is to ensure that the schedules will be consistent with the required school hours for each subject.
“Unang-una, sisiguraduhin natin na sangayon ito doon sa polisiya natin na 180 (school) days a year. Pangalawa, kailangang siguraduhin natin na yung tinakdang minuto o oras sa bawat subject ay sapat for the subject matter.,” Mateo said.
“At pangatlo, kailangan din natin i-konsulta sa mga magulang kung ano ang opinyon nila tungkol dito,” he added.
Mateo said the DepEd will also wait for the student turnout several weeks after the opening of classes before taking any action on the proposal. Classes in public elementary and high schools will start on June 2.
“Ang problema kasi dito sa Metro Manila ay madami talaga yung mga bata na hindi nagpapatala agad e...Mag-stabilize yung enrollment figures natin siguro after three weeks pa (since the opening of classes) kasi may mga magtratransfer pa dyan e,” Mateo said.
Mateo said that with the current enrollment figures, they see no classroom shortage in Metro Manila.
“Kung maaalala niyo yung 66,800 classrooms na shortage noon, natugunan na natin yan. In fact sumobra pa tayo ng 13 (classrooms),” Mateo said.
Based on the record of DepEd National Capital Region (NCR) for SY 2014-2015, there are already about two million public school enrollees in Metro Manila for elementary and high school while there are about 900,000 enrolees in private elementary and high schools.
Mateo said these figures would likely increase in the opening of classes.
In earlier report, DepEd said the classroom shortage in Metro Manila was mainly due to lack of “buildable space”.
“Ang unang-unang solution dyan ay kailangan talaga ng masusing local planning. Totoo po na meron talagang mga paaralan tayo na wala nang buildable space. Kaya nga nakikipagugnayan tayo doon sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na baka naman pwedeng makakita sila ng mga site na pwede nating pagtayuan ng silid-aralan,” Mateo said.
In earlier report, the DepEd said that, for school year 2012-2013, it achieved a national average classroom to student ratio of 1:40 for elementary and 1:50 for high school.
However, DepEd records also show that, for the same school year in Metro Manila, the classroom to student ratio was 1:75 for elementary and 1:74 for high school. —Elizabeth Marcelo/NB, GMA News