Deped Sees Solution to Classroom Shortage

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MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Education (DepEd) is confident that it will be able to ease classroom shortage and other gaps in basic education in the next two years with continued support from various education stakeholders. During the formal turnover of the proceeds from the Jollibee's Build- A-Classroom project, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that while DepEd budget allocation for 2011 increased by some 19 percent, it could hardly match the resource requirements of at least one million new entrants to the public school system every year. "Aside from preparing classrooms from at least one million new entrants to the public school system every year, we are also bracing ourselves to the additional batch of pupils in kindergarten which has become compulsory beginning school year 2011-2012 and we also need to build new classrooms each year to replace ageing school buildings and those that were destroyed by calamities," Luistro said. Data from DepEd showed that classroom shortage in the country stands at over 152,000 on a single shift to meet the 1:45 ideal classroom to students' ratio. "However, we are confident that the department can close the classroom shortage gap in two years if the fund matching trend continues and if it finds more public and private partners who can come up with creative ways to fund school building construction," he said. According to Jollibee Vice President for Marketing Albert Cuadrante, the Build-A-Classroom project is part of the "Maaga ang Pasko" campaign which aims to collect books and toys to be distributed to children in need. "We wanted to open more channels for people to help so we came up with the campaign. Through this, donated a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the limited edition Jollibee and Friends Dolls will go to the Build-a-Classroom project," Cuadrante said. Last year, over 400,000 Jollibee and Friends Dolls were sold from which a total of P12 million was raised to fund the construction of...
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