Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

PAGCOR resolves classroom backlog in a Pampanga public school

Wednesday | June 4, 2014 | 10:50 AM

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – About 800 high school students in Francisco G. Nepomuceno Memorial High School (FGNMHS) studied in makeshift classrooms for the past several years.

PAGCOR resolves classroom backlog in a Pampanga public school
Francisco G. Nepomuceno Memorial High School (FGNMHS) in Angeles City can look forward to a more exciting school year with PAGCOR and DepEd’s donation of a four- storey, 24-classroom building to the public high school last May 30, 2014. PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. (4th from right) and Senator Sonny Angara (3rd from right) led the ceremonial turn-over of the school key to FGNMHS Principal Celina Vega (center) and a student of said school. Also in photo are (from left) Casino Filipino Angeles Branch Manager Redentor Rivera, Angeles City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, Schools Division Superintendent Luz Arriola, DepEd Undersecretary for Regional Operations Rizalino Rivera and DepEd Regional Director for Region 3 Dr. Isabelita M. Borres.

The covered court was converted into learning venues separated only by movable panel boards made out of thin plywood serving as partition between sections of different levels. Teachers had to exert extra effort just to keep the students’ attention from wandering.

But even these makeshift classrooms were not enough to ease congestion in classrooms. To accommodate all enrolees – which numbers about 6,000 annually – the school had to implement a morning and afternoon shift. Because of this, FGNMHS was included in the Department of Education’s (DepEd’s) Red Code, which means the school urgently needs more learning venues.

However, this dismal set-up has improved when the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and DepEd chose the school as the first recipient of a four-storey, 24-classroom building in the entire Angeles City.

The newly-constructed multi-storey building costs P40 million. It has ten comfort rooms, two of which are designed for persons with disability (PWDs). Each room is also well-ventilated and equipped with a ceiling fan and two wall fans. The school building donation is part of PAGCOR’s “Matuwid na Daan sa Silid-Aralan” project, which aims to address classroom backlog in public schools all over the country. To date, PAGCOR has allocated P5 billion for the school building project.

During the turn-over of the new school building last May 30, 2014, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. once again shared PAGCOR’s commitment in helping the country’s education sector by building classrooms for the Filipino youth.

“PAGCOR wants to make good its promise to be instrumental in shaping the minds of Filipino students. The youth of today will set the direction of our country in the future. That is why we want to empower them through education and provide them the tools that will enable them to succeed and fulfil their dreams,” Naguiat said.

PAGCOR resolves classroom backlog in a Pampanga public school
Façade of the PAGCOR-funded school building in Francisco G. Nepomuceno Memorial High School in Angeles City. It has spacious classrooms and ten comfort rooms.
PAGCOR resolves classroom backlog in a Pampanga public school

The PAGCOR chief added that the state-owned gaming firm is not only a partner of the government in building classrooms but also in modernizing public education. “DepEd and PAGCOR are studying how we can upgrade the mode of teaching in public schools by utilizing modern technology such as the internet, computers and tablets. Through good leadership and judicious use of funds, we can make these things happen,” he enthused.

Senator Sonny Angara, chair of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, attended the turn-over ceremonies in FGNMHS. He himself witnessed the huge contribution of PAGCOR to the education sector. “Nakita naman natin ang ginagawa ng PAGCOR. Pagbaba ni President Aquino, wala nang classroom shortage. Maswerte ang Francisco G. Nepomuceno Memorial High School dahil kayo ang kauna-unahang eskwelahan dito sa Angeles na nabiyayaan ng napaka-gandang school building.”

FGNMHS Principal Maria Celina-Vega said that their school is one of the most populated public high schools in Angeles City. “There are 41 public elementary schools in the city but there are only ten public high schools. Students from these elementary schools will eventually graduate and pursue secondary education. But since we have fewer high schools, overpopulation becomes a problem,” she said.

To accommodate all students, the school used to hold morning and afternoon shifts for Grades 7, 8 and 9. But with the construction of the PAGCOR-funded building, two year levels in FGNMHS will no longer have to do two or three shifts. Also, the school will now be able to implement DepEd’s ideal classroom ratio of one classroom per 45 students.

“The completion of PAGCOR’s school building is very timely dahil nadagdagan na ang mga teachers namin. Kapag maraming teachers at konti ang classrooms, mahirap din ang sitwasyon. Shortchanged sa oras ang mga bata dahil mag-aantay sila hanggang may mabakanteng classroom. Sa tulong ng aming stakeholders katulad ng PAGCOR, we can be assured that our students will have the quality of education they deserve.” Vega explained.

DepEd Undersecretary for Regional Operations Rizalino Rivera who also graced the turn-over rites lauded PAGCOR for helping DepEd deliver quality education to the youth. “Education is not just the responsibility of the schools and the teachers but of the entire community. PAGCOR remains to be the Santa Claus of DepEd. Because of PAGCOR’s generosity, nagkaroon ng 24-classroom building ang eskwelahang ito. The covered court will also no longer be used in holding classes. Ang lahat ng repormang ito ay hindi mangyayari without our partners,” he said.

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