The Department of Education is allocating P1.1 billion for the construction of 714 senior high school classrooms in Negros Occidental, and is all set for the school year 2016-2017, its officials said yesterday.
Four hundred fifty-four classrooms worth P714.4 million are to be constructed for Grade 11 in 77 schools, while another P400 million is set to be allocated for about 260 Grade 12 classrooms next school year in Negros Occidental, Geronimo Ermio, Negros Occidental Schools Division education facilities head, said.
Of the P714.4 million, he said P638,747,287 has already been released for the ongoing construction of 399 classrooms, 47 of which will be ready when classes start on June 13.
Negros Occidental Schools Superintendent Freddie Mocon said they are 100 percent ready for Grade 11 or the start of senior high school in the province.
Memorandums of agreement have been signed with colleges and universities, and nearby elementary schools for the use of their classrooms for senior high school classes until the construction of classrooms are completed.
Double shifting of classes was also cited as an option.
The DepEd is deploying 554 teachers for Grade 11 senior high school classes in Negros Occidental, Mocon said.
So far the Negros Occidental Schools Division has enrolled 17,853 students for Grade 11 but enrollment is still ongoing, Mocon added.
They expect the number of Grade 11 students to reach 19,000 plus, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Gladys Armylaine Sales said.
Sales said wearing of uniforms in DepEd schools is not a requirement, it is an option, but some parents prefer it as it means buying less clothes.
The bulk of the senior high students, or 9,128, have enrolled in technology vocational livelihood track, and 8,725 for academics including sports and arts, Riza Gea, senior high school coordinator, said.
Vouchers are available to public school students who want to enroll in private schools for senior high school, she said, adding that P20,000 is allocated per student in Bacolod. Government Assistance for Students in Private Education is also provided for those already enrolled in private schools.
The DepEd reminded parents enrolling their children to check if a school is DepEd accredited to offer senior high school.
Sales said the DepEd in Negros Occidental is also hiring 98 high school office clerks provided they have sub profession eligibility and have attended two years of college.
Meanwhile, Mocon said the DepEd will conduct the Brigada Eskwela May 30 to June 4 with the theme “Tayo Para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa Mula Kindergarten Hanggang Senior High School”, which involves community assistance in school cleaning and repairs.
A regional caravan and launching of the first Negros Island Region Brigada Eskwela in Kabankalan City will be held on May 27, he said.*CPG