• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental public schools still lack 1,800 classrooms, revealed Ian Arnold Arnaiz, spokesperson of the province’s Department of Education.
Due to lack of classrooms, Arnaiz said that home economics buildings, libraries, and even principal’s offices are being used for such purpose.
The lack of classrooms usually are in town poblacions, he added, as he acknowledged the help extended by local government school boards to the DepEd, despite their meager resources.
Arnaiz also reported that DepEd released funds for the repair of several schools, especially those damaged by the natural calamities.
Opening of classes has been scheduled by DepEd on August 29.
The good news, Arnaiz said, is that DepEd has started to fill up vacancies for both teaching and non-teaching positions in Negros Occidental.
Based on their records, Arnaiz reported that 234,000 have already been enrolled for school year 2023-2024, as of Aug. 23, three days before the start of opening of classes, which constitutes only 78 percent of the more than 300,000 enrollees last year.
He expects that it will still increase, as enrollment is still ongoing. Late enrollees will still be accepted within the first two months of the school year, Arnaiz also announced.
He also reiterated the DepEd policy that strictly prohibits the collection of fees during enrolment in all public schools.*