Posted: Thursday | June 28, 2012 | 5:00 PM
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat Jr (4th from left) and DepEd Secretary Armin Lusitro (Center) led the ribbon-cutting of the new school building donated by PAGCOR to Sampaloc Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal. The event was also graced by (from left) Board Member Emigdio Tanjuatco Jr., Tanay Mayor Rafael Tanjuatco, Rizal Governor Casimiro Ynares III, Deped Schools Division Superintendent Carlito Rocafort, PAGCOR Director Jose Tanjuatco and officials of Sampaloc Elementary School.
PAGCOR officially turned over a five-classroom school building to Sampaloc Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal on June 28, 2012.
In line with its commitment to help the government address the country’s perennial problem on classrooms shortage, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) today turned over a five-classroom, single storey building to Sampaloc Elementary School in Tanay, Rizal.
The donation is part of PAGCOR and the Department of Education's (DepEd) "Matuwid na Daan sa Silid Aralan" project which got a P1 billion funding from the state-owned gaming firm for the construction of 1,000 classrooms in public elementary and secondary schools nationwide.
The district of Tanay, Rizal has a total shortage of 68 classrooms. Of this number, 17 classrooms are needed in public elementary schools while 51 additional classrooms are needed by public high schools.
The five-classroom building constructed at the Sampaloc Elementary School is worth P3.32 million. It is the first school building to be inaugurated by PAGCOR and DepEd this year. It will also be the new learning facility for the school's five sections of about 225 Grade 4 pupils.
According to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr., the turn-over ceremony signals the resoluteness of the agency to help the Aquino administration in its continuing efforts to uplift the quality of education. "Naniniwala kami na sa pamamagitan ng dagdag na silid-aralan, higit na marami pang kabataang Pinoy ang mabibigyan ng sapat na kaalaman. Kami ay naniniwala na ang pagkakaroon ng mabuting edukasyon ay isang daan tungo sa pag-ahon sa kahirapan," he added.
"In the coming months, we will see more classrooms and schoolbuildings being constructed in different parts of the country. These high standard PAGCOR-funded classrooms will be our agency's legacy to the Filipino youth," the PAGCOR Chief said.
Meantime, DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro acknowledged the big help that PAGCOR gives for the improvement of the country's education sector. "Malaki po ang pasasalamat natin sa PAGCOR dahil sa kasama natin sila sa pagsulong ng edukasyon."
He added that under the Aquino administration DepEd has built 16,000 classrooms in 2010 alone. "We are hoping that by the end of this year, we can build 40,000 classrooms nationwide with the help of our partners."
Luistro added that the current administration has built three times more classrooms than the past administration. Apart from the construction of classrooms, PAGCOR also helps the DepEd address the shortage on school furniture and desks through the P-Noy Bayanihan project.
On the other hand, Governor Casimiro Ynares III noted that PAGCOR still extended its help to his constituents despite Tanay not being a casino host city. "Dito sa bayan ng Tanay, wala tayong casino pero di tayo kinalimutan ng PAGCOR. In fact, tayo pa ang naunang mabigyan ng classroom."
"Naniniwala kami na sa pagtaya namin sa edukasyon ng kabataan, kasama namin ang PAGCOR," Ynares added.
Meantime Sampaloc Elementary School Principal Imelda Yaneza shared their school has a student population of 2,214, about 122 of which are transferees from private schools. To accommodate the growing number of students, most class advisers go beyond the ideal ratio of 45 students in one classroom. "At times, class advisers use non-teaching instructional rooms such as the library and the Home Economics room to provide a comfortable learning venue for the students. But this setting is prone to class disruptions," Yaneza cited.
"PAGCOR's construction of these classrooms is indeed very timely. Kapag masyadong siksikan, mahirap ang classroom management. Ang ginagawa ng mga teacher, inaayos na lang ng mabuti ang seating arrangement para maging convenient sa bata ang pag-aaral," she added.
Evelyn Ramos Mina - Public School District Supervisor in Tanay, Rizal - shared that as school administrators, they try their best to help change the lives of their indigent students. She confessed that just like the students of Sampaloc Elementary School, she used to walk several kilometers just to attend her daily classes and pursue her dream.
"Poverty is not a hindrance to success. This is the reason why we strive to help our students in every way we can," she quipped.
"Tanay District is very grateful to PAGCOR for giving us unique and beautiful classrooms. Because of these, the issue on over population was somehow addressed. These additional classrooms will also enable us to stick to the ideal classroom setting of 45 students in every class," Mina noted.
Some 749 classrooms are scheduled to be built this year in various parts of the country through PAGCOR and DepEd's schoolbuilding project. Apart from the partnership with DepEd, PAGCOR also allocated P65 million for the construction of 75 Gawad Kalinga Sibol Kindergarten classrooms and 25 Alternative Learning Centers for out-of-school-youths nationwide.