Anticipating an increase of at least 30,000 in the number of students in the city’s public schools once the government’s K-12 program is fully implemented in 2016, the city government of Parañaque said it has started constructing more school buildings to accommodate the expected surge.
During the groundbreaking for its latest school building project, the 4-storey San Antonio National High School in Barangay San Antonio over the weekend, Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez said he hopes to complete at least one elementary and one high school building in all of the city’s 16 barangays before the full advent of the K-12 program.
“Our Local School Board estimates that, because of the K-12 program’s full implementation, our public school student population will reach 140,000 in 2016, because there will be two years when we will not have graduates in high school as we add two more years to the program,” the mayor said.
“This means these non-graduating students will remain with us, and add to the current 10 percent increase in our student population every year,” Olivarez said. “We need to prepare this early to make sure that there are enough classrooms to accommodate all of our public school students.”
The mayor said that currently, Parañaque has 110,000 public school students from kindergarten to high school, increasing at an average of 10 percent annually. The number of high school students who graduate every year ranges between 7,000 and 8,000.
“This means that these students who are supposed to get out of the public school system in 2016 will remain with us for another two years, and will add to the annual increase in enrolment,” Olivarez said.
He said the San Antonio National High School – expected to be completed before the next school year – will add at least 40 classrooms to the city’s public school system. It is the first public high school in the said barangay and is located in a 1,000sqm prime property along Dr. A. Santos Avenue, one of the city’s main thoroughfares.
Before the start of the current 2014-2015 school year, Olivarez said the city was able to complete four more school buildings, bringing to 38 the number of public school campuses in the city. These are the Marcelo Green Elementary School, Don Bosco National High School, San Isidro Elementary School, and Tambo National High School.
Still, he said, these are not enough to take on the surge in 2016 and more need to be built.
He said already on the drawing boards is an additional building for the Parañaque Science High School and another 4-storey building for the Sto. Niño National High School, both in Barangay Sto. Niño which is emerging as the city’s educational hub. The barangay also hosts the Parañaque City College and the PUP Parañaque Campus, likewise both newly built with city funds under Olivarez’ watch.