Friday, January 21, 2011

The Children - Classroom Shortage, Graveyard Will Do

Students Spend Only Four Hours In Class Daily

MANILA, Philippines — Due to the crippling shortage of classrooms and teachers, public school students are spending too little time in actual learning sessions, and this explains their dismal performance in National Achievement Tests (NATs), Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said.
"The reality in the ground is that students are actually spending only four to five hours in class every day, when they should be spending all day for thorough and complete sessions," Barzaga said.
Barzaga was reacting to the Department of Education's release of a discussion paper on the administration's proposed Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program, or kindergarten plus six years of primary and six years of secondary schooling.
The paper cited the low NAT scores of students and a "congested curriculum" as key rationales for the administration's push to add two years to the existing four-year high school program.
Owing to the severe lack of classrooms and teachers, Barzaga said many schools have been forced to adopt a three-shift strategy -- the first from 6 to 10a.m,. the second from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the third from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. -- to accommodate the swelling student population.
He cited the case of Dasmariñas's Pintong Gubat Elementary School, which has three four-hour shifts every day at 50 students per section, and that of Dr. J. P. Rizal Elementary School, which has two five-hour shifts daily at 60 students per section.
Barzaga likewise cited the case of five public secondary schools in Dasmariñas that have two, six-hour shifts with an "excessive" number of 80 students on average per section. They are the Congressional National High School, Dasmariñas West National High School, Dasmariñas East National High School, Dasmariñas North National High School, and the Paliparan National High School.
"Students are spending too little time in class. This is the problem that has to be fixed by government first, before it experiments on a six-year high school program," Barzaga said.
He urged the Aquino administration to spend more to quickly address the lack of teachers and classrooms, and then adopt an intensive single-shift strategy that would enable every student to stay in class from 7a.m. to 5 p.m.
"The only reason this can't be done now is because we don't have enough classrooms and teachers, not to mention textbooks, desks, chairs, etc," he said.
"Of course the school system's curriculum is congested. Because teachers are being forced to compress in four hours the lessons that ought be taught in eight. Because we are packing students in class like sardines, which would not be the case if we have enough school facilities and personnel," Barzaga said.
He also cited the need for government to reinforce existing public day care centers to help prepare toddlers for elementary school, in the absence of a formal kindergarten system.
"Fortunately for us in Dasmariñas, we have ample public free day care facilities because the city government has enough financial resources. But what about the cities and municipalities that do not have the extra funds?" Barzaga said.

Source: All Voices - January 21, 2011


A First Pakistan School Runs In Graveyard

Islamabad: Believe it or not, a government primary school in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city is run at a graveyard. And the school shuts whenever a body is brought for burial.

The school has no toilet and no facility for drinking water, the News International reported Tuesday. So students go to neighbourhood houses if and when they feel thirsty.

District education officer Naseem Akhtar said the Government M.G. Girls Primary School could get no other land where it could be located.

"We have to give holiday to the students whenever a body is brought here for funeral prayers," she said.  

Source: Ummid - October 21, 2010



masterwordsmith said...

Thanks for this informative post which I would have otherwise missed if not for you!

Take care and wishing you and yours the very best for 2011.


Ummie said...

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Wolin said...

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