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Photos show accredited schools not honestly vetted by DepEd

/ 12:12 AM May 27, 2016

This refers to Chelo Banal Formoso’s article titled “Primer: Senior high rolls out K-12 plan tomorrow” (Front Page, 5/1/16), which states: “In determining which private schools could offer Senior High School (SHS), the Department of Education did not just give its blind approval, according to Assistant Secretary Elvin Uy. Private schools had to apply for a permit to offer SHS and the DepEd did individual vetting. The Department went through the applicant school’s profile, track record and physical and human resources to determine if it is capable of SHS education.” It seems to me that Formoso was not told the whole truth about this matter.

I sent the Inquirer the photos I took of some of these DepEd-recognized and accredited schools which aggressively advertise and promote themselves as “semipublic but private schools.” The pictures clearly show the sorry, pitiful and pathetic physical condition of these iskul bukols— derelict, dilapidated, hole-in-the-wall lean-tos hardly capable of providing the conditions ideal and conducive to the teaching and learning processes.

These schools are situated right alongside a very busy, crowded and chaotic national road in one of the biggest squatter colonies here in Quezon City. They have no playgrounds to speak of, their classrooms have no proper lighting, ventilation or air-conditioning, and their teachers carry dubious and questionable credentials. Their students are crammed inside multilevel classrooms, such that Grades 1 and 2 or Grades 3 and 4 pupils are “taught” inside one common classroom all at the same time. One of these horror houses even has the effrontery to call itself a “COLLEGE,” offering the full course from preschool to the tertiary level! Being squatters themselves, these schools can be evicted or driven out at any time. What will happen to their students then?

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Why is the DepEd giving permits to schools that do not even rent or lease space but merely occupy properties that are not theirs and that they will never own? How do you expect these schools to teach what is right when they are doing very wrong things?

These iskul bukols are nothing more than business enterprises masquerading as educational institutions. They are not there to teach and their students will consequently not learn anything from them. They are just after the money. These schools, in fact, use the very approval of their permits by the DepEd to fool and dupe unwary parents and their children into believing that they are capable of delivering what they boastfully promise, when they aren’t even capable of teaching the grade school levels properly.

One such school got its “recognition” and “accreditation” from the DepEd only in 2014, yet it is already offering the full course from preschool to senior high school! What was the DepEd’s basis for approving this school’s application to teach SHS—its two-year track record? Maliwanag na panloloko ’yan! “Colorum” schools like these should be closed!

The DepEd did not conduct any “individual vetting” at all. It should, for God’s sake, really and truly, honestly and sincerely, appraise, verify and check for truth, accuracy and authenticity all the applicant schools’ profile, track record and physical and human resources before giving its blind and mindless approval. Failure to do so makes the DepEd an accomplice and a collaborator in this invisible but reprehensible crime against Filipino students. It’s the future of the children that’s being messed up!

As it is, the DepEd itself is apparently not ready to implement its own Senior High School Program. According to an Invitation to Bid (Rebid) published in the Inquirer last April 28, the DepEd is still in the process of “Procuring Manuscripts (in camera-ready form) for Grades 11 and 12 Textbooks and Teacher’s Manuals.” Without textbooks, what will the teachers use to teach its SHS students?

—ANTONIO CALIPJO GO, academic supervisor, Marian School of Quezon City, 199 Sauyo Road, Novaliches, Quezon City

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TAGS: Department of Education, education, K to 12, K-12
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