Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR-funded Sibol Kindergarten classrooms ready for June opening of classes

Monday | May 21, 2012 | 10:12 AM

PAGCOR-funded Sibol Kindergarten classrooms ready for June opening of classes
REPRESENTATIVES of PAGCOR and Gawad Kalinga Foundation with some officials and kids of San Antonio Elementary School in Mabini, Compostela Valley in front of the newly-constructed Sibol Kindergarten classroom in the community. PAGCOR provided P65 million for the construction of 100 GK literacy centers that will help address the acute classroom shortage nationwide.

Incoming pre-schoolers from various parts of the country have more reasons to be happy with the opening of classes this June. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has funded the construction of 50 new classrooms in selected public elementary schools nationwide.

“We will have 50 Sibol Kindergarten classrooms ready for the opening of School Year 2012-2013. Based on the May 16, 2012 progress report submitted to us by GK Foundation, a total of 25 Sibol classrooms have already been turned over to their respective public schools, and about 11 are ready for turnover. The remaining 14 are due for completion prior to the start of classes on June 4,” PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. said.

The construction of the Sibol Kindergarten classrooms which began in February is being carried out by PAGCOR in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Gawad Kalinga (GK) Community Development Foundation.

According to Naguiat, PAGCOR allocated P65 million for the construction of 100 learning centers in communities nationwide where GK serves. The GK volunteers help build the classrooms while the DepEd will manage the schools upon completion of the construction.

“Apart from the 50 Sibol Kindergarten classrooms in public schools, the second phase of the project will cover the construction of another 25 Sibol classrooms and 25 Tambayani Centers for out-of-school youths in GK communities or sites,” Naguiat added.

PAGCOR-funded Sibol Kindergarten classrooms ready for June opening of classes
BRAND-NEW CLASSROOM – Pre-school pupils of Kingking Central Elementary School in Compostela Valley will have a brand-new Sibol Kindergarten school when classes open in June. The learning structure is only one of the 100 GK learning centers funded by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

The Sibol Kindergarten classrooms are part of the agency’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project. “We have initially allocated P1 billion for this project. It intends to address the education sector’s perennial problem on classrooms shortage by building 1,000 classrooms nationwide,” Naguiat said.

Naguiat explains “PAGCOR fully supports the government’s efforts to build more learning structures not only to provide additional literacy centers for the youth, but also to uplift the quality of education in the country. We believe that the students will be able to learn faster if they hold classes in comfortable classrooms such as the ones we are building.”

Each 63-square-meter Sibol classroom, which costs approximately P650,000, adopts the “green architecture”, making use of vertically extended roof spaces for natural lighting and adequate ventilation, and has its own comfort room and lavatory.

Eric Jason Salvino, Gawad Kalinga Area Coordinator in the Bicol Region, noted that there are a lot of public elementary schools in the Philippines such as those in Bicol which direly need additional classrooms. “Sobrang nangangailangan talaga tayo ng mga classrooms dito. Kung makikita ninyo ang kalagayan nung ibang elementary schools, talagang may kakulangan. Meron dito yung ibang kwarto ay pawid lang ang bubong at gawa sa kawayan ang bintana at tumutulo pa kapag umuulan,” he shared.

Salvino added that since the Bicol region is a typhoon-stricken area, classes are often suspended since the schools either get flooded or used as evacuation centers for affected residents.

Based on DepEd’s records, at least 66,000 additional classrooms are needed to accommodate the burgeoning number of students in kindergarten, elementary and secondary public schools nationwide.

Salvino pointed out that having additional pre-school classrooms is very timely since Kindergarten has now become an integral part of the basic education system in the country. RA 10157 or “An Act Institutionalizing the Kindergarten Education into the Basic Education System and Appropriating Funds Therefor” was ratified last year, which makes preparatory education for children at least five years old as a prerequisite for Grade 1.

Meanwhile, GK Regional Coordinator for Southeastern Mindanao Rene Rieta expressed his deep appreciation to PAGCOR for its active support to the government’s efforts to make education accessible to those living in far-flung communities.

“The Sibol learning centers will help many of our students a lot. We hope to build more of these through PAGCOR’s help so that no public pre-school pupil would have to endure attending classes in makeshift structures again,” Rieta said.

The 14 PAGCOR-funded Sibol Kindergarten classrooms in Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, Antique, Negros Oriental and Occidental, Cebu, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Sur and Davao City are awaiting completion by end of May 2012.

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