DAVAO CITY, Philippines- A local legislator admits the need for more classrooms for public schools and teachers in the city as the number of enrollees has increased this year.
In a press conference on Thursday, Councilor Pilar Braga of the Committee on Education in the City Council said there is a need to construct additional classrooms to cater to the number of students in the public school despite the additional 50 schools established last year mostly located in the hinterland part of the city.
For the school year 2019-2020, Braga said the population of 343,488 enrolled public school students are 15-20 percent higher.
Of the total number of enrolled public school students, 32,610 are kindergarten students, 186,921 are enrolled in the public elementary schools, 106,494 are junior high school students and 17,463 are senior high school students.
Davao City’s teacher-student ratio is at one teacher for every 50 students, or higher despite the ideal number of 30 student population in every classroom to ensure good learning and focus of students.
“Our classrooms right now are never enough to cater to students since the numbers of enrollees are rising every school year,” said Braga.
For this school year, the Local School Board (LSB) employed more or less 300 teachers having a salary of fewer than P20,000 but would only have “take-home pay of P13,000 to P15,000 due to many deductions”.
These teachers mostly served in the hinterland areas like Marilog and Paquibato districts where the city government opened several public schools.
She said that under the Special Educations Fund of the city government, the biggest chunk of its budget is allotted to the construction of school buildings and classrooms while others go to sports development.
When asked if there’s a budget for a salary increase for LSB teachers, Braga said the city government cannot afford to give an additional increase in the salary of teachers.
On the second quarter last year, the teacher’s group led by Act Teachers- Davao City lobbied for teachers allowance through the city government’s Special Education Fund.(davaotoday.com)