PRESIDENT Arroyo declared Tuesday that her government has licked the perennial problem of classroom shortage. This she did by applying a new formula to estimate the demand for classrooms.

Instead of the ideal ratio of 45 students to a class used for years by the Department of Education, Arroyo says the ratio of 100 students to a class should be adopted.

Overcrowded schools, she says, are supposed to do double shifts.

Recently resigned education undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz disagrees with the President. In the following piece, he gives the real score on the classroom shortage.


Let’s do something about it, rather than wish it away

The outburst of the President and the tongue-lashing Acting Secretary Fe Hidalgo of DepEd received at the May 30 Cabinet meeting with reference to supposedly “wrong” information on classroom shortages belies a type of decision-making that is misguided.

There IS a serious shortage of classrooms nationwide that no amount of “manipulation of numbers” will do away with. And we better face up to this fact rather than try to wish that shortage away through economics or mathematics or whatever form of analysis there is in the highest office in the land.

To understand the true picture on classroom shortages, let me divide this discussion note into four parts:

  1. Standards used in Education, re classroom planning
  2. The real picture on classroom shortages
  3. The solutions
  4. Quality of Decision-making

Standards used in Education

For planning purposes, the ideal used by DepEd is 45 students (or pupils) per class. Note that the reference unit here is CLASS and not CLASSROOM.

A “class” refers to the body of students that learn together. 45 per class is the adopted ideal here given our current realities (though in our neighboring countries — Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand — the norm is 25-30 per class.) What has happened over the past years due to (a) continued high population growth rate and (b) a significantly large transfer of students from private high schools to public high schools, is that our class sizes have ballooned to closer to 65 per class on average, with some reaching upwards of 90 in extreme cases.

To deal with this problem of overcrowding, DepEd embarked on an interim strategy in SY 2003-2004 (under Secretary Edilberto de Jesus) to do double-shifts in the most overcrowded schools so that classrooms could be used TWICE in one day. Hence, the “classroom-to-student” ratio is actually twice the number of students per class because the room is used twice a day by two classes (morning and afternoon) rather than by just one class (for the entire day).

The truth is, however, that a classroom should only be used by one class per day (especially in the higher grades) because double or even triple-shifting takes away class time from students. And as everyone should know, cutting short class time will only serve to cut short learning time. If students don’t learn because they have less time in class, that is the crux of the low achievement problem.

The Real Picture in Classroom Shortages

Double-shifting is a temporary solution. The real solution is to build enough classrooms or provide alternative forms of education to deal with a public school enrolment that is growing at around 3% per annum (and worse, from 5-7% at the high school level.) This growth rate is higher than population because it counts transferees from private high schools (which are now in serious trouble staying afloat as an alternative system to public schools.)

In schoolyear 2006-07, DepEd expects to enroll 12.4 million elementary pupils and 5.5 million secondary students. To go on single-shift throughout the country, there is in fact a real shortage of 74,115 classrooms. To go double-shift at 50 students per class (the President’s preferred strategy), that shortage is 6,832 which Secretary Hidalgo reported. (See attached worksheet)

Those figures are real figures as far as I can make out. They are based on the DepED data-base which covers all 41,352 elementary and secondary schools (excluding annexes.) Thus, the numbers represent real shortages. And note that the smaller shortage reflects an inferior learning proposition: double-shifting. Now, Malacanang wants to show that the shortage is negligible or even non-existent.

Let’s be honest and confront the real situation. The real shortage in a single-shift situation (the ideal and what every leading school system provides) is over 74,000 classrooms. That number has grown over the years because the classroom construction budget has not grown, the cost of construction has gone up amounting to less units built per year, and enrolments have outpaced population growth.

In fact, this shortage was so severe that up through two schoolyears ago, there were a number of public schools that ran up to three or four shifts a day, mostly in areas bounding squatter areas. As one can imagine, there is little, if any, learning going on in such an abbreviated set-up.

The Solutions

There is no single solution to this problem of classroom shortage (nor of textbook, teacher or equipment shortage). There must be a number of strategies for dealing with these shortages. Since Secretaries DJ de Jesus’ and Butch Abad’s time, DepED has proposed a two-pronged strategy:

  • Build more classrooms
  • Expand the GASTPE (Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education) education contracting scheme

Build more classrooms. At current prices, the budget needed to deal with the real shortage (74,115 classrooms) is upwards of P29 Billion. In a given year, DepED has P2.0 Billion plus an additional P1.0 Billion from special World Bank and ADB-funded programs (to end in 2007). At this rate, it would take 10 years to address the shortages assuming no growth in enrolment in the public school system.

Under a double-shift scenario (6,832 classroom shortage), DepED would need P2.7 Billion a year and this would only solve an artificial shortage not the real one.

On May 5, the news media reported DBM’s release of P2.0 Billion in classroom construction “in time for the start of the school year”. A release, yes. “In time for the school year”? Hardly. It will take seven months (210 days) to bid out, build and turnover a complete classroom (assuming bidding is regular and the DPWH is at its most efficient.) Hence, expect classrooms to be delivered in January 2007 at the earliest.

But how is it that classroom construction money can be released in May when the 2006 Budget has still to be passed into law? Simple. These are actually classroom construction funds from the 2005 Budget. Why it is released so late is of course the National Government’s way of managing its fiscal deficit. But why not release the funds in January during the dry season and at least six months before the start of the school year, rather than at the onset of the rainy season? This is the question Secretaries de Jesus and Abad asked DBM and Malacanang repeatedly since 2003 to no avail.

Expand GASTPE. The second equally important strategy is to expand the GASTPE program. Since the early 1990s, GASTPE has paid private high schools an annual subsidy per student so that lower-income families could enroll their children in these schools.

In SY 2005-2006, GASTPE (lodged in the DepED budget) paid for over 382,000 students from low-income families to study in over 1700 private high schools nationwide at a rate of P4000 per student. These were students that would have otherwise gone to our public schools. In some cases, the P4000 subsidy was enough to fund the required tuition and fees; in other cases, the schools covered the difference. These students come from families with a combined annual income of less than P72,000 per year and was being managed very efficiently by FAPE (Fund for Assistance to Private Education). The total budget for GASTPE was P1.5 Billion in 2005 and P1.72 in 2006.

To help deal with the classroom shortage, the DepED strategy was to pay private schools for empty seats in order to transfer public school students that qualify to these private high schools in the same areas. The plan has been to increase the number of grantees by an additional 50,000 per year until the number settled at around 775,000 or the number at which the extra-ordinary growth in overcrowded public high schools would be arrested.

In a new twist, the program is now a “voucher” program and in all likelihood the distribution of vouchers will now be given to the local government units (rather than to the education sector). With the school year opening in the next two weeks, FAPE has yet to receive confirmation if there will be the additional slots for poor students so they can transfer them to near empty private schools.

This growth in GASTPE was considered a less expensive alternative to building more classrooms and hiring more teachers (P200,000 for a class of 50 under GASTPE versus P625,000 to build a new classroom, hire new teacher, procure more furniture and books.) Instead, the program is being hijacked for political rather than education ends.

Quality of Decision-making

The shortages (as in many things) in our education system are real. And you don’t try to wish these away or manipulate the numbers to make them disappear. Yet the President’s outburst is forcing DepED to “rethink” its figures. By tomorrow, I have no doubt DepED will have different figures – figures that should make the President happy.

That, of course, is the problem in our form of governance. We don’t face reality squarely (look at the growth figures in the last SONA as analyzed by a leading economist); we distort it (look at NEDA’s use of the population growth projections); and we don’t address it responsibly (this current classroom shortage issue). When reality is distorted, we resort to repeating new “facts and figures” like some kind of mantra. And when we have repeated it long enough and once too often, we begin to believe it as truth and lose the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction,

It is decision-making and the use of information that is misguided and misleading. Worse, the bureaucracy is being cowed into playing that game at their peril. Such is the sad state of affairs of governance today in our country.

1 NOTE: Given a flat economy with little growth in household income, parents have taken children out of private schools nationwide (most with tuitions ranging from P4000-12,000 a year, and therefore not elite high schools) and transferred them to public high schools. The DepEd simulation estimates that the private high school system has lost close to 500,000 students over the past six years. These are likely to have transferred to public high schools leading to an ever-worsening overcrowding situation.

2 If you want a detailed profile of any public school in the land, DepEd can produce it. That’s the Basic Education Information System recognized as world-class by UNESCO and completely home-developed.

44 Responses to Is there or isn’t there a classroom shortage?


tongue in, anew

June 1st, 2006 at 1:08 am

This government will never be able to solve the shortage in classrooms. Because Gloria denies there is such.

When Hidalgo returned to the meeting after being ordered to get her numbers straight, her figures now coincide with that of Gloria’s. Lagi na lang nireretoke ang mga numero ng administrasyong ito.

Remember the famous question: “Will I still lead by 1M?” and the equally-famous answer: “Pipilitin po natin”…



June 1st, 2006 at 1:39 am

It’s basic math really. Though I wonder if our papers will be able to concisely report what the distortion is all about.

Speaking of numbers not meaning anything (ok off topic, but slightly related anyway), reminds me pasts SONA when there are promises to create 1M, 2M, 5M new jobs. don’t know why the government can’t just target a low unemployment rate. Absolutes hide population/working population growth.


Global Geopolitics News » Philippines - New Cagayan de Oro bishop installed Tuesday

June 1st, 2006 at 2:10 am

[…] TO ALL WHO CARE TO HEAR: THERE IS A REAL CLASSROOM SHORTAGE IN …Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Philippines – 1 hour ago… O kaya sa isang revolutionary transition government pag napatalsik na o na-assassinate na si Arroyo! mowa : si commander gloria ang lider ng death squad fyi!!! … […]


Jon Mariano

June 1st, 2006 at 6:04 am

Mr. Miguel Luz is right: there is a shortage. Even Gloria’s “doctored” number(acceded to by Fe Hidalgo), there is still a 1,000 classroom shortage. There’s no question about that.

I know that the government is doing something to solve the problem(the TEEP program that was started by Mr. Angara yet, if I’m not mistaken), but apparently it has not completely solved he problem.

My question though for those who know is: When the schoolrooms are used twice(two shifts), does it mean that the teachers also teach two shifts in a day? Each teacher handling two sets of classes a day? If yes, then the teachers are overworked, which is not conducive to good learning. More so on the 2nd shift when the teachers are already tired.


Juan Makabayan

June 1st, 2006 at 8:09 am

At 4:30 AM kids are waken up, 5:30AM they walk to school which starts at 6:45 (6:30 or 7AM) no breakfast, after school they walk back home for late lunch; the next shift comes home evening, late for supper; in a nearby elementary school they went three shifts.

Torture!! Education has become a torture for students and parents.

Education is a basic human right and an obligation by the government to provide for.

Easy for GMA to say that students go to schools in shifts to solve the classroom shortage so she can showcase her achievement.

Liar. GMA is a pathological liar.



June 1st, 2006 at 8:17 am

If I were Education Secretry Hidalgo, I would not think twice of leaving my post after getting a tongue-lashing from the Boss. First, as the Secretary, you are supposed to know your department more than anybody else. And if your boss who know nothing about, gives you her “outburst” because she doesn’t like the situations and don’t look good for her-toobad.

Doubling the number of students or pupils per classroom or per class is not the solution. The solution could have been building more classrooms and training and hiring more teachers.

She’s dreaming about that “enchanted kingdom” for her people within 20 years (getting the First World status) whereas she started on the wrong foot. The “proper Education of that Future Occupants of that Kingdom”.

While , we in the first world, are trying hard to reduce the number of students per class further to 20 from average of 30, she’s doubling hers from 50 to 100 and double shifting the already tired and overworked teaching force. To me it looks like a reverse march to that “dream” of hers..


Juan Makabayan

June 1st, 2006 at 8:43 am

All in a day’s work for a Lying, Cheating, Stealing ‘President’.

Steal the money for school buildings, divert it to Cha-Cha

Cheat the numbers, ‘define’ classroom shortage

Lie with the figures, showcase her achievement, silence her critics.

That done,

Move on, smile for photo-ops, laugh, shake hands, prepare for the SONA,

and look for a DepEd Sec who knows how to Lie, Cheat and Steal with a smile, like Gloria.



June 1st, 2006 at 9:27 am

did someone say “yung dagdag, yung dagdag” ?


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Impatient for education reforms? Check the education budget first

June 1st, 2006 at 10:24 am

[…] THE next time Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo makes a public display of her impatience over slow-paced education reforms by scolding a Cabinet official about miscalculations in the classroom shortage, she should first take a look at how much her government allocates to the education sector. […]



June 1st, 2006 at 10:38 am

Kaya nga Enchanted Kingdom by 2020. By now dapat na kayong masanay sa fairy magic tricks using GMAs magic wand! HAHAHA aray!


Gurong Bayan

June 1st, 2006 at 12:27 pm

To reduce unemployment Gloria redefined unployment to exclude those who are not actively looking for job.
To eradicate classroom shortage gloria redefined the the formula (i wonder she did not say 200 pupil per classroom so that she can actually have a surplus of classroom)..
To eliminate the opposition she redefined treat rebelion and treat to national secutiry..
To win the election she redefined honesty…(i.e., ensuring that “ang dagdag ang dagdag” and “will i lead by 1 million” is not yet a cheat)

Tru the rate she is redefining our world and perception..we are indeed on the way to her enchanted kingdom..the world of make believe…once upon a a far away land in near east..a fake president decreed that if you dream with her and trully believe in that dream (with her) will come true!!!!!

what can you expect from a liar…it takes another lie to cover another…gloria epitomizes that ….

Madam Undersecreatry Fe Hidalgo..dont apologise..the people, teachers, parents and students and educators know the real situation inside the classroom..and no amount of magic can elimnate the fact that this June..some students will sit under the mango tree, but will learn that cheating is sin…



June 1st, 2006 at 1:41 pm

There always has been classroom shortage.It will take several years to solve the problem.perhaps because the student population grows faster then classrooms can be built.
Perhaps, it’s better to have a bigger budget for DepEd to be able to address the problem.
The temporary solution of 2 shifts & bigger number of students per class must be reduced.
Because such a situation has a strong negative effect on the quality of education.
Particularly in the city there is also a problem where to expand a school for more classrooms.


Jon Mariano

June 1st, 2006 at 2:06 pm

If I’m not mistaken, it is provided for in the constitution that the DepEd should have the biggest allocation in the National Budget. So there’s no problem with money, DepEd should have money to build classrooms.

Over at Dean Bocobo’s blog, he pointed at a statistic that in 2004, the DepEd spent 2 Billion pesos to build classrooms, in 2005 it was just half (the slant being 2004 was an election year, so there should be more projects for people to see). Whatever the reason was for slashing the budget for new classrooms, it’s partly the reason for the lack of it.

Another reason is that, the government is trying not to spend too much to manage it’s accounts too show a surplus, not a budget deficit. All noise but no substance…



June 1st, 2006 at 5:28 pm

I think at the end of the day it boils down to numbers & economics.
DepEd is just one department that needs the funds just like every other department is also underfunded.
Health care & social services are equally as important.
Just as are other goverment agencies.
It seems to me the goverment is trying to leave w/in its means.
It seems to me goverment is trying to avoid having to barrow money so as to stop a vicios cycle.
For DepEd alone it’s serious money that can’t be addressed alone w/ goverment revenues.
In a way it’s better to end the year w/ a surplus.
That also means goverment is barrowing less & when goverment barrow less there is also less strain on the interest rates & inflation.
It’s really all about a balancing act & not a popularity contest.
Personaly, I can only be glad that i’m not in a position to make difficult calls of doomed if you do doomed if you don’t.



June 1st, 2006 at 5:49 pm

Whats elses new? Every year we encounter the same problem over the shortage of classrooms in public schools nationwide.We cant blame why our students have poor quality of education its because of lack of suitable classrooms and not just that but also shortage of books that should be of great help in their learning process.


Partisanong Lagalag

June 1st, 2006 at 6:18 pm

According to GMA’s Govt:

“There is no shortage of Classrooms, only a wrong formula used”

“There is no Job Shortage, only picky Filipinos who want high paying jobs.”

“There is no killing spree on activists, only Communists killing their own.”

I suppose it’s high time for us to say:

“There is no Government!”



June 1st, 2006 at 7:03 pm

The communist have been know to kill their own people for one reason or another or to advance their cause.
It’s really true that there is a problem pairing job skills w/ what the industry needs in this particular time.
It seems to me since the goverment can’t obviously solve the classroom shortage in one go also due to economic limitations.They seem to be approaching it by the 2 shifts system.I would like to beleave that in a few years time it will go down to 1 shift & after again a few years hopefully the ideal number of students in a classroom.
But to think that the problem will be solved overnight is not accepting or recognizing the enormity of the problem.
Every year so many new students go to schools but not enough rooms can ever be built.


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » What about classrooms that need repairs?

June 1st, 2006 at 7:32 pm

[…] PRESIDENT Arroyo’s unusual formula may have wiped out the demand for new classrooms this new schoolyear—at least on paper—but it’s premature to declare classroom shortages a thing of the past. […]



June 1st, 2006 at 7:58 pm

who said that shortage is a thing of the past?



June 1st, 2006 at 8:11 pm

i am impressed. imagine, the perennial problem of classroom shortage suddenly solved by a simple mathematical calculation only? wow, at no extra cost thus a big savings for the state’s coffer (no need to construct extra classrooms). brilliant solution? instead of 45 make it 100 student per class and do double shifts (and we are wondering & complaining about the deteriorating quality of our education). simpleng math formula lang pala ang kailangan at solved na ang problema. but still w/ this formula applied, the hard headed dep-ed acting secretary insisted on a classroom shortage of 6,832 on her report (in front of media). what followed is another tantrum ang tongue-lashing from the puppet master (exit media please). and the result? well, later on the dep-ed oic facing the press again acknowledged her mistake, “there’s no classroom shortage (just 1,000 actually which is manageable), i failed to account the new school buildings under construction now.” so data sheets corrected (or corrupted?) via madam’s tantrum and sigaw “yung dag-dag, yung dag-dag! @#%$*!”. galing naman talaga ni madam.



June 1st, 2006 at 8:18 pm

what’s being questioned here is if there’s a shortage of classrooms or not. there’s an attempt to cover-up and manipulate the figures to make it appear that the problem is solved already and so it becomes an accomplishment of this de facto govt. infact, there was tongue-lashings that happened for reporting the correct figure. it’s not about the question of other govt agencies equally important and underfunded. it’s again a question of transparency. of honesty that this govt is lacking. a govt. that is good at cover-ups and manipulations.



June 1st, 2006 at 8:45 pm

Bakit hindi sinama sa The Solutions ang pagkontrol sa population growth? O kahit man lang ang paghingi ng tulong sa simbahan na mag-ambag sa pagpapagawa ng mga paaralan mula sa kanilang bilyong pondo? Taun-taon na lang napapagusapan ang kakulangan ng “classrooms” tuwing malapit magbukas ang klase, sa mga ganitong panahon naman tikom ang bibig ng simbahan. Sa palagay ko, kahit ano pang solusyon ang ipalabas nila kung bawat taon dumadami ang batang papasok sa eskuwelahan, hindi pa rin makakasapat yan. Tanungin natin ang simbahan baka naman maaaring gamitin ang kanilang gusali kahit pansamantala lang habang may kakulangan sa classrooms. Kung ayaw nila, mag-donate na lang sila para sa pagtatanim ng puno ng akasya.



June 1st, 2006 at 9:29 pm

Ikaw naman Scud- alam mo naman yang simbahan na yan mas malakas pang humingi ng abuloy kay sa eskuelahan yan. At may panakot pa silang kaunti, kaya pati ayaw na manganak- sige na lang.

Kays sabi ng memebership ng asssoc. namin dito sa Amerika, bakit puro lang simbahan ang inatupang natin?, mas marami pang pera kay sa atin yon. Bakit hindi naman yon manga eskuelahan at library naman? (see

From now on, our membeship here have decided that we focus our resources more on education rather than religion for our townsfolks back in the country. One retired M.D. from our hometown had already funded rebuilding a two classrooms in one of our barangays destroyed by typhons. And we are not stopping, no matter how little we help it matters..



June 1st, 2006 at 10:58 pm

mula sa 45 pupils per class na hindi mo maituro lahat ng subject sa isang araw dahil sa sobra ingay,may naaaway kasi masikip 3 bata sa isang upuan,kulang ng aklat(1 book for 2 pupils) magulo o kaya hindi naririnig sa hulihan kasi ang ka klase ay nagdadaldalan.mayamaya,may ipapadalang note may emergency meeting,bigyan ng seatwork ang mga bata,pupuntahan ka ng pupil mo magsusumbong may umiyak,sinuntok o sinaksak ng lapis ang likod,etc…etc…etc…walong oras mong kasama ang mga batang ibat-ibang ugali,pag uwi ng bahay, magluto,maghugas ng pinggan,then uupo susulat ng lesson plan makakatulog mga pasado 11:00 gigising ng 5:00 magluluto,aasikasuhin yon anak na nag-aaral,pupunta sa paaralan… sa 5 araw ikaw ay magtuturo,minsan nauubos ang pasensiya o magagalit dahil sa pupil mong pilyo,makulit,atbp…ngayon gusto ni gloria na gawin 50 pupil per class? siya kaya ang magturo sa elementarya. tignan natin kaya ba niya…. mag isip-isip ka oi,ni hindi mo man lang itinaas yon sahod namin,wala kang iniisip kung di yon mga sundalo para huwag kang iwan kong may gulong darating.



June 2nd, 2006 at 2:33 am

Did anyone catch Kara David’s report last night? Tanyag Elementary School in Taguig has a ratio of 1:800, and I thought Caloocan bagged first prize with 1:327. I’m not good with numbers, can anyone please explain to me how GMA intends to apply her 1:50 ratio in these schools?

Expect the SONA to end up as a comedy act worthy of Comedy Central or a clown convention since most of our politicians are clowns anyway.


Ambuot Saimo

June 2nd, 2006 at 3:28 am

Speaking of quality of education vis-a-vis classroom-teacher-students/pupils in the Philippines: This is a true story: Back in 1961 when I was in Grade 1, our barrio (not yet barangay) has only one classroom and one teacher teaching Grades 1-4. (1st column Grade One; 2nd column Grade Two; 3rd column Grade Three & 4th column Grade Four) The teacher has to teach one hour for each Grade both in morning & afternoon sessions making it only two hours learning time a day. All the pupils has to remain even when their teaching time is over until the morning or afternoon session is over. The good thing about it is that while the teacher is teaching each class, everybody has to listen even if you don’t belong to that Grade. And if say you are in Grade 2 and she’s teaching Grade 3 or 4 you can participate and so in effect you are getting an “advance” studies. This teaching arrangement has been the same for years not only in our barangay but in all other small barrios too. (For Grade Five and up you have to go to the town. After I graduated HS I went to Manila (as usual) where I stayed for most of my life until I went abroad.)

In 2002 I went on vacation (after 10+ years abroad) to this barangay where I was born and from my observations, nothing substantially changed. The village area has remained virtually the same including the population. I noticed the dilapidated schoolhouse still with one classroom. I talked to the teacher (a cousin of mine) and she told me that the system is still the same. I said “what? are you serious???” “Yes” she said “after a half century it’s still – one teacher teaching grades 1-4 in one classroom!!! Wow!!! Isn’t it incredible??? My question is how do you classify this setting? Do you have to consider it as 4 classrooms or just one?
But anyway, as my way of looking back from where i came from, I wanted to donate something valuable to the people. I thought of either fixing the school or just build a new one (materials- mine, labor- the barrio folks) or the concrete quadrangle civic center which they don’t have (they usually call it basketball court) where they gather together or the childrens play. I talked to the Bgy. Captain (another cousin) what is their priority. He told me that the Congressman has already committed to build a new school (maybe from his pork ) and the basketball court in the school plaza would be nice. So, I promised to build the basketball court and in 2003 the 25 m. x 30 m. quadrangle was finished and it cost me around Php 150,000. (Note: I am not a millionaire just lucky enough to have at least 3 square meals a day) In return, I got a Certificate of Appreciation from the Municipal Council and it was a good feeling and I asked for nothing more. It was when I realized that indeed it’s good to give than to receive.
My points are: 1) in the last half century, our educational system has not improved especially in the provinces because the government do not prioritize it; 2) Congressmen can use their pork for school-building; 3) those who can afford should contribute something especially the 10% mega millionaires population. Panahon na para magbigay naman kayo!!! Hindi puro kabig nang kabig na lang. Remeber donation for education is an investment on human resource development and ultimately the benefits will redound back to you because educated workers are more productive workers. Bonus: they school you donated will be named after you. (but in my case I specifically requested not to put my name in the basketball court)



June 2nd, 2006 at 5:13 am


Good for you. You are better than our politicians whose names appear even on the sides of garbage bins. And to think that we, the tax-payers were the ones who funded these projects. I salute your kind and may your tribe increase.


tongue in, anew

June 2nd, 2006 at 5:50 am

Schumey, I doubt it’s possible to get a 1:800 ratio… UNLESS …you have 4 shifts of 4 hours each, for a class size of 200 each in the same classroom. That means classes start at 6AM for the first shift and ends at 10PM for the 4th shift.

I can’t imagine how you can pack together 200 students in one regular sized room. I can’t also imagine every teacher in Bagong Tanyag attending to 800 students for 16 hours everyday, that’s brutal, isn’t it?

Now your question of how to bring it down to the 1:50 ratio, diivide 800 by 50 = 16. That means that for every classroom now in that school 16 more have to be built PLUS allowance for population growth. The primetime news said that Bagong Tanyag Elem School has only “over 20 classrooms” and most classrooms have cracks and that the rain falls on students inside the rooms. (A classroom-to-pupil ratio of 1:800 and a classroom count of 20 makes 16,000 total student population for a small public school, and thus, to me, is unbelievable for now.)

A minimum of 320 classrooms to a maximum 494 have to be built


Gurong Bayan

June 2nd, 2006 at 10:10 am

A class of 800 to one teacher looks like this….

checking of attendance at 4 seconds per student (long enough for the student to hear his/her name and the teacher to recognize the student) would take 53 minutes..that’s more than the 40 minutes in one subject area.

teacher will give a ten item quiz…that translate to 8,000 items to be checked (multiple choice na lang para madali kung may essay pa na kunti ewan ko lang) 2 seconds per item..this means..4.4 hours..just checking papers…

at 4 shifts that means teacher have to have the energy and attention from 6am to 10 pm. that leaves her with 8 hours to to prepare her clothes, lesson plans, travel to school, prepare herself and sleep. Kung may pamilya pa…paano na ang mga anak nya..the teacher can only wish…”yung dagdag yung dagdag” na sweldo…will she/he still live another day?



June 2nd, 2006 at 6:49 pm

How can the government solve the classroom shortages when they are building a classroom at a cost of P400,000.00 each under the leadership of GMA; on the other hand, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce can build a classroom at a cost of only P100,000.00.

Where did the P300,000.00 pesos go? Only GMA knows. she is best in manipulating numbers.



June 2nd, 2006 at 9:38 pm

Ay naku…sa 45 pupils nahihirapan na kami.ano ba wala ka bang puso?halos ang sakitnga ng guro ay SAKIT SA PUSO,GOITER,HIGHBLOOD pagkatapos,gagawin pang 1-50,aba maawa ka naman sa mga teacher.kakarampot nga ang sweldo namin,kasi mas mahalaga sa iyo ang mga pulis at sundalong mga uto-uto tapalan ng salapi
kinalimutan na ang sinumpaan proproteksyonang ko ang taong bayan.Saan nga ba ang QUALITY EDUCATION? pag dumaan kayo sa isang paaralan,tignan ninyo ang bubong naka sulat doon ang inyong hinahanap…hehehe Naranasan ko na yon Emergency Class dahil giniba yon isang building namin,bumagsak ba naman yon kisame habang nagtuturo ang isa kong co-teacher.start ng 6:00-12:00 pero uuwi kami ng 3:00;then 12:00-6:00 na man ang susunod na klase.Hindi maganda ang resulta kasi nagmamadali ka,kailagan ma take up lahat yon leksyon dahil may budgeted skill to be followed for that grading`s useless.walang matututuhan ang bata,sa 45 lahat sa isang classroom,kulang ng books at desk,tapos halos mga bata ay mula sa mahihirap na pamilya na pagkatapos ng pasok ay magtitinda ng cellophene,kargador,newsboy o shineboy para may pambili ng pagkain.


Kulang-kulang sa ederic@cyberspace

June 3rd, 2006 at 3:03 am

[…] Pero di sang-ayon si dating education undersecretary Juan Miguel Luz. Ika niya sa isang komentaryon inilathala ng Inside PCIJ, “There IS a serious shortage of classrooms nationwide that no amount of “manipulation of numbers” will do away with. And we better face up to this fact rather than try to wish that shortage away through economics or mathematics or whatever form of analysis there is in the highest office in the land.” […]



June 3rd, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Since time immemorial, the shortage of classrooms has always been a problem. Education has always been one of the least priorities of the government, if not of the administration, then of the LGUs. There’s only one reason behind all these: corruption. Sadlym even in private schools, exclusive at that, students of more than 50 are packed in a classroom. But with 90 in public schools? That is too much for the teacher to handle and focus on the lecture and ability of the students to learn. Also, the students concentrate less on the sessions.

With regards to the shifting, classes in high school should be really for one shift only. I know, I spent 8 hours a day in high school. If that is 2 shifts per day, then it is still possible.

I know of a school in Bacoor, Cavite wherein students of first year and third year go on MWF, and the second and fourth year students come during TTHS…Then there is also this school in Las Piñas that has three shifts…In cases like this, what is the quality of education that they’re getting?



June 3rd, 2006 at 5:55 pm

Anong walang shortage? Ito personal experience ko sa Sampaguita Elem School (Bagumbong, Kalookan City) TATLONG SHIFT PA NGA !!. Morning Shift 6 to 10, miday shift 10 to 2 and late afternoon shift 2 to 6 pm.

Time and again GMA’s statistical standard are suspect and arbitrary.



June 4th, 2006 at 1:53 am

Let’s all inject morphine so we can’t feel the pain of Gloria Arroyo’s bad governance. That way, we’ll all be together in her eutopia. There really is no problem, no poverty, no solutions are needed. Let’s all be merry and let’s party. Hail Gloria!



June 4th, 2006 at 3:01 am

The President’s play with numbers on the shortage of classrooms could just be a continuing manifestation of how she might have manipulated her victory in 2004. It’s a matter of attitude. Plainly, it is possible that this president has shown consistency of actions. This is of course a show of true colors.

Indeed, there are “Two Philippines” in this administration. One is her “fantasy” or “enchanted kingdom” and the other, a helpless or tolerant society that continues to suffer the spell of the make-believe curse.

I feel that she lost credibility. Gloriaspeak has become synonymous to fudging — always doubted and ridiculed.

I challenge the President to enrol her grandchildren or relatives in those classrooms where the ratio is 100: 1. Why don’t she try enrolling the children in the family on half-day classes only?

Avatar » A reflection of priorities

June 4th, 2006 at 10:24 am

[…] Meanwhile, despite President Arroyo’s attempts at twisting logic, severe classroom shortage in Philippine public school pervades, among other problems in the public education system. Budget Secretary Andaya on the other hand says there is nothing to worry about since billions of pesos have been earmarked for the building of thousands of additional classrooms and hiring of new teachers. […]



June 6th, 2006 at 5:03 pm

An Engineer joke;

Q. How many electrical engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A. None. They simply redefine darkness as the industry standard.

It is a possibilty that gloria might have had some engineering background. She’s redefining face value as we know it.

I still remember Erap’s excuse was that the outstanding problems then were all inherited from Ramos. But Arroyo’s outright denial now is as if she’s treating everybody as she would Erap.


Ellen Tordesillas » Blog Archive » Arroyo’s magic formula

June 7th, 2006 at 1:15 am

[…] Recently-resigned Education Undersecretary Mike Luz , in a statement, said the original figures on 6,832 classroom shortage presented by Hidalgo in the cabinet meeting “are real figures as far as I can make out.” […]


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » Now, it’s 'work' that goverment wants redefined

June 13th, 2006 at 9:05 am

[…] Pascual points out that the only economic target the Arroyo government met last year was with respect to overseas deployment. Including overseas work as employed work, she said is “to fool us into thinking that she is accomplishing her goals, in the same manner that a ratio of 100 students per classroom solved the shortage in classrooms.” […]



June 22nd, 2006 at 4:20 pm

Kaawa-awa ang sinapit ni DepEd Sec. Fe Hidalgo because she told the truth. Pero mas kaawa-awa ang libu-libong mag-aaral dahil sa totoo lang… WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH SCHOOL BUILDINGS for them. From where I hailed, kids walk 2-3 kilometers just to get to their schools. When they are there, they hold classes under mango trees kasi kulang ang classrooms. Hindi naman siguro magsasabi ng ganoon si Sec. Hidalgo if her information was not true. Sigh… hirap talaga sa bansang ito.


INSIDE PCIJ: Stories behind our stories » DepEd gets another politician for secretary

July 12th, 2006 at 11:46 pm

[…] Hidalgo incurred the ire of the President during a cabinet meeting when the DepEd chief reported that there was still a shortage of 6,832 classrooms in the country. Hidalgo later apologized to Arroyo, saying she got her figures wrong. […]


INSIDE PCIJ » Despite classroom shortage, House gives Arroyo ‘passing mark’ in education

July 23rd, 2006 at 11:05 pm

[…] But a closer look at the committee’s assessment report on the President’s performance in the past year seems to reveal otherwise. And Arroyo, who is set to deliver her second State of the Nation Address tomorrow, will probably be reporting that the government has addressed one of the top concerns of the education sector: classroom shortage. […]


(I say no to) The TGIF no homework policy & the 12-year basic education policy « Tine.

September 24th, 2010 at 9:56 pm

[…] Under the two-shift policy, implemented in 2004 and reinforced in 2008, morning shift students have to attend school as early as 6a.m. With 6 hours each, the afternoon students then start at 12n.n. and end at 6p.m. Because of the extreme shortage in classrooms and teachers, some schools implement a three-shift scheduling stating 6a.m. to 9p.m. That would give each class 5 hours each: 6a.m. to 11a.m., 12a.m. to 4p.m. and 4p.m. to 9p.m. Or something like that. A couple of years ago, there was even a school that had a four-shift schedule! […]

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