Press Release
August 13, 2010


As Congress deliberates the proposed 12-year basic education curriculum, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said part of the country's educational priority should be addressing the physical needs of basic education, beginning with solving the country's lack of classrooms.

In an interview earlier this week, Angara expressed concern that the country's classroom-student ratio for elementary and secondary public schools is still far from the ideal 1:30 ratio. This, he added, is one of the prime reasons the country's education quality has been in decline in recent years.

Current classroom-student ratio is pegged at 1:50 in a double-shift scenario daily. The actual class size in public schools ranges from 60 to 100, lagging behind the class size in Thailand (18), Malaysia (19), China (24), Taiwan (14) and Indonesia (22). He also cited that 20% of the country's classrooms have no proper ventilation, 27% have no lighting, 55% have no electricity and 25% have no ceilings. In 2005 20% of elementary and high schools did not have science laboratories.

"Based on DepEd records, total nationwide classroom shortage is 41,197 and rising. At current prices, the government will need at least P16 Billion of additional funding to fully address the classroom shortage. The government will address this immediately to compliment the proposed 12-year basic education curriculum and thus improve our education system," said Angara, former president of the University of the Philippines.

Angara has proposed a comprehensive school building program through build-operate-transfer, build-transfer, build-lease-transfer or rehabilitate-operate-transfer schemes with pre-qualified private contractors for the design, financing, construction and maintenance of school buildings.

"This has to be a priority. The addition of two years to basic education is a good start. But we will need to see improvements on other factors of our education system, too," he concluded.

News Latest News Feed