/ 17 September 2021

THE DEPARTMENT of Education inaugurated 339 newly constructed school buildings and 98 restored Gabaldon schoolhouses nationwide.

“Although the conduct of face-to-face classes is not yet allowed, these newly installed classrooms will be instrumental in our mission to address classroom shortage in the long run,” Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.

The 339 school buildings have 2,040 classrooms. The DepEd also repaired and improved five Division offices in Regions 6, 8, 10, and 11 in partnership with the Department of Public Works and Highways.

“Sana makita ninyo ang malaking pagbabagong ito sa school houses. Ang iba ay nasa siyudad, ang iba ay nasa malalayong lugar, ang iba ay nasa probinsiya— iisa ang design, resistant to strong winds, malinis at kaaya-aya,” Briones said.

The simultaneous ceremonial turnover of school buildings was conducted in Kalinga, Apayao, and Baguio, Benguet in Cordillera Administrative Region, Naval and Biliran, Dipolog, Zamboanga Del Norte, and Ormoc City, Leyte.

The DepEd also launched the Last Mile Schools Development Program in recognition of the need to prioritize the development of schools in geographically isolated, disadvantaged and conflict-affected areas.

“The Last Mile Schools Development Program primarily seeks to bridge the gap in schools that have not reached the allocation criteria for education inputs. These schools also lack electrical connections, school furniture, and learning materials which hamper the optimum learning experience of the students,” Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua shared.

In line with this, groundbreaking rites were held at Sitog National High School, one of the Last Mile Schools located in Dabiak, Katipunan, Zamboanga Del Norte, where two units of one-story, two classroom buildings were turned over. The other LMSP beneficiaries are Leyte, Surigao Del Sur, Samar, Tabuk, Abra, Biliran, Southern Leyte, Quezon Province, and Kalinga.

“For School Year 2020-2021, different bureaus, services, and schools divisions are working together in directing various programs, projects, and activities to address the needs of these disadvantaged public schools and learners,” Pascua said.