3 big public schools resort to 'shifting'

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014


THREE schools in Davao City have resorted to creating class shifts in order to accommodate the high number of students, the regional Department of Education (DepEd 11) said.

The “highly congested” schools are Kapitan Tomas Monteverde Sr. Elementary School (KTMSES), Magallanes Elementary School (MES) and Sta. Ana National High School (SANHS) - all from District 1, said Jenielito Atillo, DepEd 11 spokesperson.

Highly congested schools are schools that have resorted to create two shifts - morning (6 a.m. to 12 p.m.) and afternoon (12 p.m. to 6 p.m.) classes - to accommodate more than their optimum capacity. That is aside from the night shift for high school, which is a regular feature of downtown high schools to accommodate working students.

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As of June 2, the number of enrollees at Kapitan Tomas reached more than 4,800. The number increased by 500, according to KTMSES principal Merlinda Roma.

At Sta. Ana high school, a total of 5,972 students enrolled as of Monday.

According to a school staff who refused to be identified, the number of enrollees decreased substantially due to the massive fire that transpired in Barangays 23-C, 22-C, and 21-C on April 4.

The three barangays are located near the school.

Highly congested

Meanwhile, Atillo said that the DepEd office has yet to validate whether the Davao City National High School, one of the biggest schools in the city based on the number of enrollees, will resort to double shifting this school year.

The MES has also yet to release its data of enrollees.

"Double shifting scheme is an effective way to address problems on lack of classrooms and school chairs," Atillo said.

In the previous school year, Davao City has 285 public elementary schools, with 197,571 students enrolled, and 70 public high schools in Davao City, with 73,403 total enrollees.

Deped 11 said MES had the highest enrollment for 2013-2014 with 6,012 students while KTMSES had 4,290 students among other elementary schools.

SANHS had the highest number of enrollees among secondary schools with 6,879 students.

Also registering huge populations last year were Daniel R. Aguinaldo High School (6,403), F. Bangoy National High School (4,500) and Doña Carmen Denia National High School (4,090).

Atillo said the ideal class size for elementary and high school for academic year 2014-2015 is 60.

He said it has increased from 1:45 because there is an exodus of students from private schools that transferred to public schools.

Aside from that, he said the three "highly congested schools" have more students enrolled since parents, who live from far areas, opt to enroll their children here.

Based on the DepEd-Davao City division masterlist of elementary schools, there are a total of 12 secondary schools and 53 elementary schools in District 1.

Unpreparedness

Meanwhile, City Councilor Leah Librado slammed the unpreparedness of Deped in terms of textbooks, classrooms and teachers.

"Despite Deped's claim that it has already achieved a 1:1 pupil-to textbook and pupil-to-school seat ratio, this remains to be seen and supported by accounts from teachers all over the city," she said.

She also hit the shortage of 50,921 for classrooms, 60 million shortages in textbooks, 2.5 million shortages in chairs and 80, 937 shortages in water and sanitation facilities nationwide.

"According to DepEd in Davao City, the need for additional classrooms reaches as high as 1,011 for elementary schools and 550 for secondary schools; apparently there is a shortage and if we are also to address the dilemma of escalating tuition rates, we have to include in our agenda concrete steps to help those who want to go to school but cannot afford such," she said.

Librado added, "Education is supposedly a constitutionally guaranteed right, and the state must ensure that its pupils and students are given the basics."

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 04, 2014.

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