Ready for school opening?
Classes in public elementary and high schools are scheduled to open on June 4, 2012. Have government authorities inspected and checked the condition of dormitories, boarding houses, canteens and eateries, etc. that students will use in the coming school year? Are we certain that the living conditions in students’ quarters, eating places and other venues comply with government requirements and regulations? Have we done away with the practice of checking the conditions in these places just as classes are about to start or have already started?
The fact is, the maintainers of these places should be given enough time to undertake improvements so that they can comply with the requirements of law. The best time to conduct these inspections should not be later than the first week of May. This will ensure that the maintainers and the government inspectors have ample time to check compliance with the requirements. Slipshod work and remedies are thus avoided.
On the part of the school authorities, are the venues for classes ready to accept students so that no last-minute remedies or work are necessary? When the Department of Education ruled that classes in public schools should start on June 4, 2012, actual classes should already be held on that date. Registration, including payment of school fees, assignment of classes and teachers should be done one or two weeks before the first day of classes. This will ensure that the number of school days required for the school year is strictly observed.
Unfortunately, especially in public schools, the pre-class activities are conducted on the supposed first day of classes. During my elementary and high school years, classes actually started on the first day of school scheduled by the Department of Education. Teachers get paid even if there are no regular classes in April and May. They should be required to render service in the middle or latter part of May to prepare for the start of classes on the date that the Bureau of Education so ordered and scheduled.
Further, classes should be held on the nearest Saturday following their suspension because of floods and other calamities. Each locality should have evacuation centers to accommodate victims of floods, fire and other calamities. The practice of using classrooms to house evacuees should be stopped. The premises are dirtied and violated. There have been cases where ceiling fans, toilets and washroom fixtures, cabinet contents, etc. were stolen.
This is a very sad commentary on the damaged culture of our country. How can some parents and elders steal articles in the school where their own children receive education? It is utterly shameful!
—APOLONIO G. RAMOS,
42 Mindanao St., Marikina City
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