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MANILA, Philippines - There will be fewer overcrowded classrooms by early December, when some of the classrooms currently under construction are expected to be completed, an official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said.
National Capital Region Director Rizalino Rosales said the department will also address the country's chronic classroom shortage by constructing multi-story buildings.
"A lot of classrooms are still under construction but due to be completed within the next few weeks or months," Rosales said said.
In Metro Manila, some 515 schools are considered overcrowded, the DepEd says.
Overcrowding is being addressed not only by the completion of new school buildings, but also by the intensification of alternative learning system (ALS) such as the Home Study Program and the Open High School Program.
He said nine schools will implement triple shifting, down from the 20 last school year.
"The reason for this is actually the late enrollees. If the students were registered earlier, our school heads would have developed a strategy to address this problem of overcrowding," Rosales said in an interview.
Earlier, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said no schools will hold triple shifting this school year.
“Makikita nyo naman na hindi naman talaga tayo binabagyo nang tuluyan at kung mayroon mang konting hamon, makikita nyo na lalabas na yung araw (You will see that we’re not totally stormed out, and if there are some challenges, the sun manages to come out),” Luistro said when asked about reports of overcrowded classrooms, teacher shortage, and other problems that greeted the return of students to schools Monday.
Luistro admitted then said that 771 schools nationwide are classified as congested, with a classroom-student ratio of more than the prescribed 1:45. Of the 771 congested schools, 515 are in Metro Manila.
Classes in triple shifting are scheduled 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. while double shifting classes start from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. and then from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.