Japan-funded classrooms to be constructed in Masbate, Agusan Sur

November 21, 2011 11:03 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Nov. 21 — Separate contracts for the construction and renovation of school facilities in Masbate and Agusan del Sur municipalities, funded with about P9.1 million by the Japanese government, were signed recently by Japanese ambassador Toshinao Urabe and representatives of the beneficiary-schools.

Mayor Natividad Isabel Magbalon of the Municipality of Milagros in Masbate and Joevanie Bebero, Principal of Talacogon Central Elementary School, Agusan del Sur, signed the contracts during ceremonies at the Japanese embassy in Manila on November 18. The Grant Assistance for both contracts totaled P9.1 million. Officials said about 2,000 students will benefit from the six classrooms for Talacogon, Agusan del Sur and the construction and renovation of buildings for the John Miller Elementary School and Magsalangi Elementary School both in Milagros. Masbate and Agusan del Sur were among the ten poorest provinces in the Philippines in the last decade. Government statistics showed that in 2009, poverty incidence was 42.5 per cent and 51.2 per cent respectively. As such, both provinces cannot afford to pay enough attention to basic social services including education.

John Miller Elementary School in Barangay Bangad uses makeshift and dilapidated classrooms to accommodate its growing number of students. On the other hand, Magsalangi Elementary School in the coastal barangay of Magsalangi urgently needs reconstruction and renovation. Magsalangi Elementary School, established in 1937, is considered the oldest school in the municipality, and its old classrooms pose a threat to students.

Through the grant assistance amounting to about P4.8 million, four class rooms will be constructed in John Miller Elementary School, and three classrooms will be constructed in Magsalangi Elementary School. The classrooms will also be provided with armchairs, blackboards, teacher’s tables and chairs. The Municipal Government of Milagros will also repair two classrooms and five classrooms respectively.

The Talacogon Central Elementary School in the Municipality of Talacogon, Agusan del Sur, was established in 1934 and is also considered the oldest school in the locality.

It is the only school in the Municipality that offers Special Education (SPED) program to poor students with disabilities and special needs. Due to its old structures, the students are forced to hold classes in dilapidated classrooms which are in dire need of repair. Furthermore, the increasing enrollment results in the classroom shortage forcing the students to use non-academic rooms such as a library and a stockroom for their classes.

With a grant of US$ 98,211 (about 4.3 million pesos), Talacogon Central Elementary School will construct a new six-classroom building. The classrooms will also be provided with armchairs, blackboards, teacher’s tables and chairs.

The Government of Japan is the top ODA donor for the Philippines. (PNA)

DCT/GJB

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