Decrepit classrooms in Pangasinan replaced with the new PAGCOR buildings

Tue | January 30, 2018 | 3:00 PM

URDANETA, PANGASINAN -- Whenever it rained on a school day, 6th Grade Beverly Mariano along with her classmates in Nancalobasaan Elementary School (NES) in Urdaneta City, would play a game: avoid getting “wet” with rain water leaking from their classroom’s ceilings.

Decrepit classrooms in Pangasinan replaced with the new PAGCOR buildingsPAGCOR officially turns over a brand new two-storey, four-classroom school building to Nancalobasaan Elementary School in Urdaneta City.

Decrepit classrooms in Pangasinan replaced with the new PAGCOR buildingsMore than 800 elementary students of the Catablan Integrated School will now get to enjoy a newly-constructed three-storey, 15-classroom building from PAGCOR

Pausog-usog po kami sa klase ‘pag umuulan kasi tumutulo sa bubong. Naglalaro po kami, kung sino po ang pinaka-maraming beses mapatakan ng tubig, talo. Nagtatawanan kami tuwing may mababasa sa ‘min,” she recalled.

However comical the situation is in a child’s eyes, the lack of proper learning facilities is no laughing matter. Her school, which was established in the early 1940’s, had 13 classrooms – all of which have decrepit roofs and ceiling, and are already termite-infested.

NES Principal Denia Garcia who has been serving the school for nearly a decade, lamented the sorry state of their school’s classrooms. “Kawawa yung mga bata kasi hindi na conducive for learning ang classrooms. Masikip, madilim tsaka sira-sira na, kailangan na talaga palitan,” she said.

Catablan Integrated School (CIS), also in Urdaneta, is in a similar situation. All of the school’s 834 pupils cram in 17 dilapidated 72-year-old classrooms. According to Principal Marita Ancieta, they have been praying that the government would notice their situation.

It was beyond belief for the teachers and students of the two schools when they learned that they were included among the recipients of new classrooms funded by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

NES received a brand new two-storey, four-classroom school building, and CIS a three-storey, 15-classroom building from the state-owned gaming firm. The new buildings will finally replace the decades-old classrooms that the students and teachers of the two institutions have long been enduring.

“The parents wouldn’t believe it at first. Sabi nila, ‘Mamati kaminton no makita mi’ (Maniniwala lang kami kapag nakita na namin.) Ngayon nandito na, dati panaginip lang. Hindi parin kami makapaniwala. Sobra po kaming nagpapasalamat,” Principal Ancieta said.

To date, through the help of its partners – the Department of Education and the Department of Public Works and Highways –PAGCOR has funded the construction of 5,980 classrooms in 893 public schools across the country.

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