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PIA Press Release

PGMA leads groundbreaking of P4.3-M school building in Sirawan

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (28 February) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who earlier vowed to improve and modernize the country's educational system before the end of her term in 2010 flew to Davao City on Wednesday, February 27 and led the groundbreaking of a P4.2 million school building in a Muslim dominated barangay in this city.

It was the President's first activity upon her arrival in Davao City yesterday where she addressed the gatherings of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines Mindanao chapter at Grand Regal Hotel later in the afternoon.

The elementary public school building is a 2-storey 4-classroom that was built from the funds of the Department of Education where it has an existing enrollees of 403 pupils.

The school has seven Muslim teachers and 3 non-Muslims with 99 percent Muslim students of the Kalagan tribe.

It is situated about 1.54 kilometers from the national highway, the site of which is owned by the Davao City government under usufruct agreement with DepEd.

The construction period will commence on March 2, 2008 and is expected to be finished on June 2, 2008.

The government in 2007 had increased the budget allocation of DepEd to P150 billion as against the P126 billion in 2006 in its effort to modernize the educational system.

It also will continue to bring in more facilities especially to hinterland barangays to allow more students gain access to education.

Basic education statistics from the DepEd website revealed that for school year 2006-2007 about 267 barangays in the country still do not have public elementary schools because there are no available school sites.

The factsheet also showed that out of the country's 42,140 schools, 37,352 are public and only 4,788 are privately operated.

Enrolment for school year 2006-2007 showed that in the pre-school level, it had a total of 952,109 and of this number 557,220 are in public schools while 394,889 are in the private.

In the elementary there were about 13 million enrollees of which 12 million were enrolled in public schools and 1 million in private schools.

Teacher-pupil ratio in the public schools was pegged at 1:35. (PIA) [top]

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