Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to employ a more aggressive approach to seeking partnerships with the private sector in order to address the persisting problem of lack of classrooms in the country.
“If the government does not have enough funds to build the classrooms, let us encourage private firms and businesses through their corporate social responsibility programs to allot their funds to building more school buildings and classrooms for our students in the public schools,” she said.
Magsaysay lamented reports that the country is lacking close to 70,000 classrooms with the coming school year, which might result in students being crammed like sardines in their classrooms just to attend classes.
“Actually, these lack of classrooms is also among the reasons that learning has deteriorated in the country. Because rooms that are supposed to be good for 30 to 40 students suddenly become flooded with 50-60 students, how can we expect our teachers to ensure that every one of them is learning and focus on everybody at once? The atmosphere is also not conducive for learning as not all students can pay attention to the lessons with the discomfort of crammed space and excessive noise in the area.”
Magsaysay said that the public private partnerships have worked before in some government programs like Adopt an Estero wherein private firms volunteer to clean up and maintain tributaries to improve water quality in major bodies of water in the country so this shows the willingness of the private sector to help out the government for worthwhile projects. Some private firms have also donated school buildings and classrooms in the past so it is not unlikely that more are willing to follow in their footsteps.
“What is more worthwhile than in investing in the education of our youth?” she said. “I am sure that there are more who are just waiting for the chance to help out if only the government would reach out to them.”#