LEGAZPI CITY, July 29 (PNA) – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) regional office for Bicol here is readying the plans and actual cost estimates for the implementation of the Php353-million public school building projects in the island-province of Catanduanes.
DPWH Regional Director Melvin Navarro on Wednesday said here that the biggest part of the total amount, reaching some Php215 million and intended for 27 buildings of 148 classrooms, comes from the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Senior High School (SHS) program.
Under this program, two-storey, six-classroom buildings are assigned for construction at the Buyo Integrated School, Calatagan High School, Palta National High School and Catanduanes National High School in Virac, Catanduanes, the provincial capital, Navarro said.
The same structures have also been scheduled under the same fund for the Cabcab National High School, Mananbrag National High School and San Andres Vocational School -- all in San Andres town; Baras Rural Development High School in Baras town; Bagamanoc Rural Development High School of the municipality of Bagamanoc; San Jose and Tambognon National High Schools in Viga town; Bato Rural Development High School and Cabugao Integrated School in Bato; Panganiban National High School of Panganiban town; and San Miguel Rural Development High School in the municipality of San Miguel.
Under the same funding, the Antipolo National High School in Virac, Bote National High School in Bato, Sicmil Integrated School in Gigmoto and Bugao National High School in Bagamanoc were also allotted two-storey, four- classroom building each, Navarro said.
From this Php215-million funding, the Lictin Integrated School in San Andres will be provided a one-storey, four-classroom building; Dororian Elementary School of the same town, two units of three- and two-classroom buildings; and Juan M. Alberto Memorial Elementary School and Mayngaway National High School, both in Virac, will get two-storey, six-classroom building each.
Another part of the total funding is the Php37-million allocation from the 2014 DepEd’s Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF) which provides for the construction of one-storey, one-classroom buildings for the Obi and Inalmasinan elementary Schools in Caramoran town; Agban National High School in Baras; San Isidro Elementary School in San Andres, Catamban Elementary School in Pandan and Calabnigan Elementary School in Virac.
Also under this funding are the construction of a one-storey, two-classroom building each for the San Rafael Primary School and Cobo Integrated School in Pandan and another one for the Panganiban National High School, Navarro said.
The rest of the total fund amounting Php101 million and intended for six projects in the province, on the other hand, comes from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) as part of its school building program in the countryside.
Navarro said PAGCOR has earmarked about Php17 million each for six two-storey, 10-classroom buildings in San Miguel Rural Development High School, Mayngaway National High School, Lictin Integrated School, Viga Rural Development High School, Catanduanes National High School and the former Catanduanes Institute of Techonology Foundation Inc. in Virac that has been donated to the DepEd for the SHS program.
According to the DepEd regional office, also here, the impending construction of these school buildings in Catanduanes is mostly part of the preparations for the full implementation of the K-12 program which will cover the SHS curriculum next school year.
The other projects are for the continuing enhancement of the basic education program.
It said DepEd’s 2014 and 2015 budgets had allocations for 30,000 classrooms for SHS while the initial target for the proposed 2016 budget, which is subject for approval, is over 20,000 classrooms while the government shall further allocate investments for the same program.
DepEd Regional Director Ramon Fiel Abcede said that the SHS (grades 11 and 12) was divided into four tracks -- TVA, GAS, Sports and Arts and Design, which would help prepare graduates for higher education, entrepreneurship, further middle skills development or work.
Bicol, he said, was now ready for the SHS as the DepEd regional office had already oriented school officials, organized the implementation teams, launched advocacy programs, conductive consultative conferences, coordinated with other government agencies, benchmarked pilot implementers, formulated action plans and strengthened the Career Guidance Program.
These were all the most salient points needed prior to the start of the implementation of the new program in School Year 2016-2017, Abcede said as he stressed that his office was seriously concerned about laying the grounds for the smooth transition that ushered in significant changes in the educational system not only in the region, but also the whole country, in general.
The five critical challenges anticipated in the beginning of the new program-- material resources, human resources, stakeholders’ support, curriculum development and funding -- were also being addressed.
"Curriculum development and funding schemes are concerns mainly to be handled by the DepEd Central Office, while material and human resources as well as stakeholders’ support are challenges given to the regional office,” Abcede said.
Material resources include classrooms, chairs and laboratory equipment while the preparedness of teachers to teach in the different tracks and assistance to the students for decision-making on the choice of tracks are under Human Resource (HR) concerns, he said.
Stakeholders’ support consisted of local government units, industry partners, government agencies and, of course, parents’ support," the regional director added. (PNA) RMA/FGS/DOC/CBD/