A PROPER proportion of teachers, students, and facilities are ideal scenarios of a school but for the public school system, overpopulation of students and shortages of teachers, classrooms, and facilities have been a yearly struggle.
As of June 13, 2014 a total of 9,309 students are enrolled in Davao City National High School (DCNHS). Of this, 2,565 are first year students, 2,421 are in second year, 2,354 are in thrid year, and 1,969 are in the graduating class.
School administrator Principal IV George N. Wong said those enrolled in the school are not merely students coming from downtown Davao City but also from the outskirts of the city.
"Last year we only had around 7,000 students in the school but now we have reached more than 9,000 students," he said, adding that they have received transferees from private schools and out of town.
He said parents are transferring their children to the public school system because it is cheaper compared to the private school system. As for those coming from far of places, Wong said most have parents whose work brought them here.
With a student population that big, the facilities and teachers of the public school are pushed to their limits to accommodate transferees.
Wong said the current facilities they have are not enough to accomodate all their students. For example, they need an additional of 46 more classrooms for the students.
"We have requested additional classrooms from the Department of Education and 22 will be coming to us. The Department of Public Works and Highways have pledged to finish them within the year," he said.
For now, two classes take turns using one classroom.
Armchairs, laboratories, and computers, are also some of the things that the school is still in need of.
The teachers are also being pushed to the limits to be able to provide the needed education of the students.
Wong said they currently have 232 teachers for the 9,309 students. Most teachers are already handling more teaching load than normal.
Joy B. Buenviaje is an Araling Panlipunan teacher, who has been teaching in DCNHS for 21 years. On top of her six regular classes, 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., she also teaches late afternoon classes from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday classes and also handles advisory classes in the regular school schedule, late afternoon classes, and Sunday classes.
"Kapoy ug draining jud siya sa kadaghan ug load. At the end of the day murag dili naka gusto mulakaw sa kakapoy (It is really tiring and draining due to the loads that we carry. At the end of the day it seems like you do not want to walk anymore due to the exhaustion)," Buenviaje said.
She said for them teachers it is a daily struggle to be able to impart the lesson to a large group of students at the same time trying to get their attention. Buenviaje's classes usally ranges from 50 to 60 students.
But she keeps on anyway.
"Una-una mao gyud ni among bread and butter. Ikaduha siguro ang commitment sa paging teacher, committed na ka mag tudlo, life ang pagtudlo (first, this is our bread and butter. Second, as a teacher, you have committed your life to teaching)," she said.
Buenviaje added that despite the tiring job, she still enjoys it.
In the level of the students, both Buenviaje and Wong agree that the sheer number of students makes it difficult to totally fulfill the education needs of each.
"For example in the laboratory, you only have five microscopes and ten students assigned for each with only a one hour class, that is not enough to satisfy their educational needs," Wong said.
Buenviaje, for her part, said it is difficult to teach in a large class since the student will have a hard time focusing, especially those who are in the back.
Wong sees that it is important that other sectors of the community should work hand in hand to identify and address the problems in the public school system and to channel these problems to concerned agencies.