By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing editor .
CLASSES in all public schools nationwide are set Monday, yet the Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (Mogchs) here has yet to address its 194-classroom backlog for this school year.
“We will accommodate only 9,600 students as set by the (schools) division office,” Mogchs principal Dr. Pedro Estaño Jr. said Monday.
Estaño said his school can still admit 2,141 more after they have enrolled 7,603 junior high school learners, including 144 in senior high school students, as of May 22, this year.
About 10 years ago, enrolment in Mogchs reached an all-time high of over 12,000 and was undeniably the most populated high school in Mindanao.
He said Mogchs, this school year, has 400 regular teachers and yet there are only 194 classrooms, hence two teachers have to share one classroom.
This tandem arrangement, he said, often cause conflicts between two teachers occupying the same classroom with a table each with two separate groups of learners.
“There so much passing the buck when it comes to classroom cleanliness and maintenance,” Estaño said, notwithstanding the need to stop class sessions—even when discussions are not over yet— to give in to the next.
He said classrooms are occupied by Grades 7 and 8 students from 6 am to 12 noon, and Grades 9 and 10 at 1 pm until 7 p.m.
The secondary school principal said Mogchs has been receiving only P9.8 million annually when two classes are being held in a classroom, yet the school’s maintenance and other operating expenses are computed only per classroom.
He said a four-story 20-classroom school building has already been completed in March this year, but it cannot be used yet for classes because it has to be inspected so that an occupancy permit be issued to the school.
Estaño said the P47-million project was undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways.
“For now, there are no more spaces for new constructions unless the old single or two-floor structures are demolished to give way to four-level or more buildings,” he added.
Ideally, he said, senior high schools should have a separate campus from Mogchs’ present location along Don Apolinar Velez Street.