Netizens' complaints: No chairs, broken toilets, outdated books in public schools
MANILA, Philippines – Before public schools officially begin classes on Monday, June 4, the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted Brigada Eskwela, its annual initiative to get everyone involved in ensuring that school facilities, students, and parents are all ready for the start of the school year.
In an interview during Brigada Eskwela activities, Vice Mayor Ronnel Español of Alabel, Sarangani, explained the importance of such activities.
"Ang kahalagahan ng Brigada Eskwela ay upang ihanda natin ang ating mga paaralan, upang sa gayon ang ating mga estudyante ay maengganyo na pumasok sa kanikanilang paaralan," he said.
(The importance of Brigada Eskwela is that it prepares our schools, and encourages our students to attend their respective schools.)
Español also encouraged DepEd officials and students to participate in such activities.
"Ang pagprepara sa paaralan, hindi lang ito trabaho ng mga magtuturo o guro, kundi pati ng mga opisyales at mga kabataan, na dapat magtulungan para ihanda ang ating paaralan," he said.
(Preparing schools is not just a job for teachers, but also for officials and the youth, who must help one another in readying our schools.)
Netizens, responding to callouts made by Rappler on what they view as key issues in the public school system, had much to say.
Some brought up the quality of teaching:
Yung mga teachers na mahilig magpasulat ng magpasulat sa notebook instead of really teaching— Reeya0624 (@Reeya06241) May 29, 2018
Public school teachers doing more admin reports than actual teaching.— Y'all (@green3yedharry) May 29, 2018
Many also worried about the availability of classrooms, as well as the student-teacher ratios:
Lack of classrooms. Yun amin dito giniba agad to make way for a new building but where to put the children temporarily was not planned well. Ayun napakalat mga bata sa brgy hall, sa ilalim ng stage...places not conducive to learning. Kawawa both bata and teachers— Kaji Koori (@KajiKoori) May 30, 2018
Teacher-Student ratio. Overpopulation in classes causes stress to teachers and lack of focus to students. While teachers have always been commendable in classroom management, reducing the average class size in public schools would positively impact learning environment.— Sarah Marie Ponce (@sarahheika) May 29, 2018
Proper amount of classrooms enough to fit a certain amount of students. Some students need space when they learn and it won't help if they're squeezed together with their classmates (especially with the heat of this country? They won't learn anything from that!)— ✧･ﾟ: * ʏᴀɴɢ *:･ﾟ✧* (@yukiransumii) May 29, 2018
Student-teacher ratio. We expect quality education tapos 80 students per class?— MARYA (マリファナ) (@ChayTunacao) May 29, 2018
Netizens also expressed concern about the books being used, and the conditions of classrooms and restrooms:
kulang sa maayos na palikuran or CR ang mga pampublikong paaralan #BrigadaEskwela2018— rick (@shadow_4th) May 29, 2018
Aside of well-ventilated classrooms and complete features, public schools must have a canteen/cafeteria which has clean environment, modern equipments, well-experienced employees and most of all, nutritious and affordable foods. Also, it has NO junk foods. #BrigadaEskwela2018— ulupong (@domdeedum_) May 29, 2018
Some netizens are also worried about how the public school system may be overburdening students and parents with fees, school supplies, and obligatory contributions:
yung pa- envelope, cartolina, marker, manila paper at kung ano ano pang pa school supplies na ipinapadala sa mga kapatid ko! kulang po ba sweldo ng teachers kaya sa students ipinapabili and mga yon?— Cristine Abria (@abriacristine27) May 29, 2018
Finally, one netizen suggested ways of incentivizing greater school attendance from students, a theme touched on by Vice Mayor Español:
By and large, netizens are concerned about how the condition of public school facilities could affect students' education. Concern was also shown for the teachers working under the same conditions:
How do you feel about the state of our public schools? Share your thoughts on publishing platform X! – Rappler.com, with report from Rhoda May Ebad
Cesar Garcia is a Rappler intern.