Where are the classrooms?

THE Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2018 report showed that the Department of Education (DepEd) was supposed to construct 47,000 new classrooms for the year, but only managed to complete 11. Is this figure correct? Could COA be wrong?

COA reported lapses in the implementation of repair or rehabilitation of classrooms under the Basic Education Facilities Fund. DepEd should explain its efficiency – or inefficiency and delinquency – in the construction of classrooms and school buildings.

At the start of this year’s school year, teachers had to plead on social media platforms to show DepEd officials about their working conditions. They had to look for idle spaces in their schools and resort to using inoperative comfort rooms as faculty rooms to compensate for the lack of classrooms and faculty

rooms for students and teachers.

Teachers using comfort rooms as restrooms, two classes sharing one classroom and students using makeshift classrooms in covered courts are not isolated and are not new. They need to find ways to adapt and compensate with the state’s shortages in facilities and learning materials.

DepEd should explain the low delivery for the construction, repair and rehabilitation of school buildings and classrooms which have been perpetual problems. These are pathetic accomplishments from the education agency considering the magnitude of shortages in classrooms and school facilities.

Ultimately, it is the students and teachers who suffer from their inefficiency and further budget cuts in the Basic Education Facilities Fund (BEFF). Budget for the BEFF already had a whopping P74,488,271,000 cut in its budget from the P105,461,287,000 in 2018 to the P30,973,016,000 in 2019. Budget for the BEFF was one of the biggest casualties in the 2019 budget.

Teachers do not just complain about the lack of facilities in their schools to be dramatic and touching. It is their everyday work situation. Unacceptable.


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