By INA HERNANDO-MALIPOT/Manila Bulletin
The Department of Education (DepEd) on Monday said there will be additional teachers, textbooks, and facilities for almost 23 million students who will report to school on June 15.
Education Secretary Mona Valisno said 10,000 teachers will be hired this coming school year.
She also said that proposals were submitted to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to support the salary of the newly hired teachers.
Valisno said the new hires will address past concerns of parents and students over the shortage of teachers.
According to DepEd, the nationwide average ratio of teachers to students in most public schools is 1:32 or one teacher to 32 students.
“There is still problem when it comes to lack of teachers but with this, we hope that we can somehow lessen the impact of that concern,” said Valisno.
Aside from the shortage in the number of teachers, the lack of textbooks was also addressed with the acquisition of almost six million new textbooks.
Valisno said the new books will be added to the existing 86 million textbooks now used by students.
“This is very important because we have to replace those that were destroyed by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng,” she said.
The ratio of textbooks — Social Studies, English and Science — is already 1:1 or one textbook is to one student, she said.
“This year, we are hopeful that Filipino and Math books will also have the same ratio,” Valisno said.
Valisno also acknowledged that there are still problems when it comes to lack of classrooms.
“There is a problem when it comes to classrooms but I think additional buildings are still under construction,” she said.
When there are enough classrooms, Valisno believes that this will decrease the need for holding classes in shifts — from three to two—in a day.
The DepEd is also pushing for additional facilities such as toilets for every classroom.
Valisno said DepEd has allocated budget for these additional facilities.
“We are teaching the children hygiene such as washing their hands so it is only proper that they have these kinds of facilities available for their use,” she said.