Lack of classrooms. Based on the results of a Pulse Asia survey commissioned by Senator Win Gatchalian, more than half of Filipinos think this is the top issue that the Department of Education (DepEd) should immediately address.
According to the results of the survey, which was conducted between September 17-21, 2022, 52% of respondents said that the shortage of classrooms should be the topmost priority issue of the DepEd.
The challenge is more pronounced in Luzon and Mindanao, where 56% and 57% of respondents, respectively, said that classroom shortage should be the top priority of DepEd. In both the National Capital Region (NCR) and Visayas, 44% of respondents also said that the lack of classrooms should be on top of DepEd’s concerns.
More than half of respondents from classes ABC (52%) and D (54%) also identified the lack of classrooms as the issue that needs to be immediately addressed by DepEd. Almost half (49%) of respondents from Class E share the same view.
Gatchalian reiterated that in the long run, the government should commit to meeting the classroom requirement for all the country’s learners. Based on the 2019 National School Building Inventory (NSBI), there’s a shortage of 167,901 classrooms nationwide. During last year’s deliberations on the 2023 national budget, Gatchalian said that around P420 billion is needed to meet the classroom requirement.
The survey also says that more than 40% of respondents identified the lack of school learning materials like books and computers (49%) and the lack of teachers (45%) as the top concern that DepEd should immediately address. Only 33% said that the DepEd should give topmost priority to quality education, while 24% identified the lack of textbooks.
“Bagama’t prayoridad para sa karamihan ng ating mga kababayan ang sapat na mga classrooms, titiyakin naman natin na tutugunan din natin ang ibang mga kakulangang kinakaharap natin, lalo na pagdating sa kalidad ng edukasyon,” Gatchalian said.
Other issues such as drug testing of students, low pay of teachers, medium of instruction being used, errors in textbooks, and competence of teachers were also mentioned by the respondents that need to be addressed.