CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda announced that the Provincial Government will allot P200-million for the construction of 267 classrooms intended for the full implementation of the K to 12 program in 2016.

This was disclosed by the governor in a meeting with the 112 public high school principals in the province held at Benigno Hall, Capitol Compound on Thursday.

The meeting was also attended by Board Members Rosve Henson, Ferdinand Labung, Nestor Tolentino, Ricardo Yabut and Anthony Joseph Torres, Capitol's education's focal person Bessie Macabali and Department of Education (DepEd) Pampanga officials.

Pineda said the Capitol will start immediately the construction of classrooms so the province will not be caught unprepared for the K to 12 program.

Based on the report of Engineer Olimpio Pangan and Engr. Wilfredo Manalili of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO) submitted to Pineda, the Provincial Government is set to construct 28 classrooms for the three public high schools in Magalang; 14 classrooms in Guagua; three in Sasmuan; 11 in Sta Rita; 12 in Lubao; nine in Porac; 16 in Floridablanca; 14 in Bacolor; 12 in Arayat; 72 in Mexico; three in Sta. Ana; 15 in Sto. Tomas; 16 in San Simon; two in Minalin; 12 in Apalit; nine in Macabebe; four in Masantol; four in San Luis; and 11 in Candaba.

The governor said Capitol is willing to help the DepEd because the K to 12 program is intended to boost the educational standard of the graduates in high school and put them at par with graduates from other countries.

"If we fail to help the DepEd in responding to the scarcity of needed classrooms, many high school students have no options but to stop schooling. My administration wants all turning senior high school students be in school in 2016 to finish their two more years of schooling. I want zero drop-outs in senior high school," Pineda said.

She said Pampanga must be ready for the full implementation of K to 12 program.

"We fully support the Senior High School program," she added.

It can be recalled that Governor Pineda advised the Pampanga Mayors to allot their respective annual P5-million financial assistance from Capitol for the K to 12 program's needed facilities.

The governor also vowed to augment with an additional P5-million financial aid the construction of classrooms in each municipality and city where senior high school will be implemented next year.

Pineda said their assistance to DepEd for the K to 12 program is tantamount to helping the youth in Pampanga towns and cities who will be the direct beneficiaries.

The DepEd said the success of K to 12 also lies on the hands of the local government units from municipal, city to provincial, parents-teachers associations and non-government organizations who are extending assistance to the department by sponsoring the construction of needed classrooms.

DepEd disclosed that the needed classrooms for first year senior high school students starting 2016 are 432; science laboratory buildings-33; computer laboratory buildings- 47; and workshops-101; and 436 teachers.

It was learned that the Philippines is the last country in Asia and one of only three countries worldwide with a 10-year pre-university cycle. Angola and Djibouti are the other two. (Joel P. Mapiles/Pampanga PIO)