BACOLOD City Representative Greg Gasataya said the Department of Education (DepEd) has allotted P1.1 billion for the construction of classrooms in public elementary and high schools in the city.
Gasataya said the DepEd informed him that the budget for Bacolod has already been approved as part of the implementation of the K to 12 program.
The DepEd allocated the budget for the construction of 312 classrooms, including more than 20 classrooms in Negros Occidental High School.
Workshop areas will also be constructed in elementary schools.
Almost all schools will have new classrooms starting this year, Gasataya said.
Earlier this month, about 500 school teachers, principals, and other education stakeholders gathered in Bacolod for the three-day 1st Negros Island Region (NIR) K to 12 Conference.
DepEd-NIR Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad said they are on the right direction in following and implementing the programs under K to 12.
With the start of the Senior High School, particularly Grade 11, in school year 2016-2017, the DepEd-NIR was able to address some of the problems, he said.
Records show that in Negros Island, about 47,000 enrolled in Grade 11, higher than the target of only 40,000 students.
Sadsad said the challenges faced by the DepEd-NIR included the absence of tools and equipment particularly for technical-vocational livelihood track.
Lack of classrooms for Senior High School, and insufficient teachers to handle the subject areas were also among the concerns.
Sadsad said these problems are experienced nationwide, but in the case of DepEd-NIR, they have already identified alternative solutions to anticipated problems next school year.
The K to 12 Program covers Kindergarten and 12 years of basic education (six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School.