Students of six public schools in the city now experience a far more comfortable and convenient learning as 50 new classrooms were completed by the City Government in time for the opening of the new school year.
In a report provided by the City Engineering, data showed that the total cost for the completed construction reached PhP 77,513,006.97 with funds coming from the Local School Board (LSB).
Architect Benjamin Gamaro of the Engineering Office’s Planning and Project Management for school buildings, said that the accomplishment covers the construction of a new campus, the Dalandanan National High School-Bagbaguin Annex, with a two-storey building. This first building to rise in the said school property has eight classrooms and two more rooms for administration and other functions.
Other schools with new classrooms now being used by students are Bignay Elementary School, with six classrooms; Canumay East National High School, with four classrooms; Polo National High School, with 16 classrooms; Punturin National High School,with eight classrooms and Rincon Elementary School, with six classrooms.
Moreover, Architect Gamaro said that to augment with the needs of the growing student population, 49 other classrooms were built straight away and are nearing completion. These are soon to be turned over to the following schools: A. Deato Elementary School, with 12 classrooms; Coloong Elementary School, with seven classrooms; Malanday Elementary School, with 12 classrooms and Pio Valenzuela Elementary School, with 18 classrooms.
These projects have a total cost of around PhP 61,778,582.02 funded through the LSB.
The City Engineering Office further revealed that the City Government had drawn up plans for the construction of yet another 50 more classrooms. These projects would cost around PhP 85,263,795.38 and will commence once all the necessary procedures are finalized.
Developments in the pipeline include the Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (ValPoly) that currently has 22 classrooms. ValPoly is a city-run institution that provides vocational education to 1,600 students. Sixteen classrooms will be constructed on its site at Fortune 6, Barangay Parada at a cost of PhP 33,575,631.64.
Likewise, an additional 24-classroom building is expected to ease up Dalandanan National High School with a budget of PhP 39 million. Lawang Bato National High School, on the other hand, will get six more classrooms, while Lawang Bato Elementary School will have four more classrooms.
The City Engineering Office also ensures that each building completed is well-planned and conducive for learning. “We build structures by having in mind the welfare and condition of people who will use them,” Praceli Nelson, Officer-in Charge of the City Engineering Office said.
“We have set a standard of classroom dimension of nine meters by seven meters with a height of three meters,” she said. “Before there were only eight meters by six meters classrooms. Even the windows are now larger to allow better ventilation and natural lighting.”
This wave of construction programs is in response to the city’s commitment to reduce the student-to-classroom ratio to the ideal 45:1 for elementary schools and 50:1 for secondary schools. According to Planning Officer Antonio Luz of the Department of Education (DepEd) - Valenzuela, the city currently has a ratio of 48:1 for elementary schools and 54:1 for secondary schools.
Valenzuela City fares relatively better compared to the average 85:1 ratio in the entire National Capital Region.
He said the ratios are based on the initial data for enrolment this school opening and will be finalized after the July 31 cut-off period for enrolment.
Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian puts a premium on education by prioritizing infrastructure projects that will strengthen the city’s capacity to serve Valenzuelano students.
Beyond facilities, the City complements this construction boom with relevant trainings for its teaching personnel that will enhance their capabilities to develop young minds in the city as part of his pet project, “WIN Ang Edukasyon” Program.
The City Government, furthermore, provides free notebooks and workbooks to all public school students, lesson planners and class records for teachers, and school supplies and books to children enrolled at public kindergarten schools and Day Care Centers. This provision aims to help parents lessen their expenses.
“We give our utmost priority to education because it is an essential tool in shaping our city’s future through youths who are well-equipped and confident to face the challenges ahead,” the city's Chief Executive stressed.
- Mark Lester Cayabyab (2011-07-04)