The Manila Times
By Angelo S. Samonte, Reporter
The government is addressing problems in the education sector despite several hurdles, Malacañang said Thursday.
“The strength of the
program of [President Gloria Arroyo] in the education sector would
be to increase the number of classrooms to increase the quality of
education in the country and then support our students in several
ways,” deputy spokesman Anthony Golez told a press conference.
On Wednesday, the
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in a report warned that
the Philippines may face an “education crisis” because of
falling enrolment as well as shortages in classrooms, books and
teachers amid an economic crisis.
The report also said
the Philippines was wasting millions of pesos on salaries for
“excess” government. The UNDP commissioned the Human Development
Network to write the report.
The Department of
Education (DepEd) is working to solve the problems listed by the UN
report, Golez said, with the support of the Department of Social
Welfare and Development in providing better nutrition to children
and additional classrooms.
“The private sector
is also helping the DepEd in carrying out the Adopt-a-School program
[of the government],” he added.
Golez said the lack of
classrooms was expected to become acute during typhoons when school
buildings are used as evacuation centers for housing those displaced
But, he added, the
National Disaster Coordinating Council was already helping in
building classrooms that are “typhoon and calamity-proof.”
Based on the
Philippine Human Development Report 2008/2009, public
elementary-school enrolment dropped to 12.03 million between 2007
and 2008, from 12.08 million between 2006 and 2007.
For private elementary
schools, enrolment stood at 1.09 million between 2007 and 2008,
slightly higher from 1.03 million between 2006 and 2007.
For high school
students, enrolment moved up slightly to 5.12 million in public
schools and 1.33 million in private schools.
Contrary to the UN
report, the Education department earlier said that the number of
school dropouts dramatically decreased after the government
successfully encouraged students to enrol despite the global
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