DepEd to boost ‘Last Mile’ schools
BANAUE, Ifugao Far flung schools will now be prioritized.
Department of Education undersecretary Alain Del Pascua said the ‘Last Mile’ school project aims to capacitate centers located in the farthest areas of the Cordillera.
The nationwide project will now focus on school which are hours away from town centers with less than four classrooms to give furniture, learning equipment, computers, textbooks and laboratories.
“For the next three years, we will focus
on schools far away from town centers and are usually multi – grade facilities which teach small communities,” Pascua said.
Pascua added data analysis from the department shows there are 8,000 ‘Last Mile’ schools all over the country to be empowered and strengthen.
For the project, DepEd is working with the Department of Public Works and Highways to open access roads for the schools, opening accessibility for students and the community.
Pascua said the project is under the program of the department, with the DPWH aiming to open roads leading to all schools.
In the region, far flung schools areas needing buildings usually suffer a failure in bidding with zero takers pushing the department to revert the project cost to the general fund.
Another factor compounding the problem is also the lack of manpower if and when school building projects see funding with skilled and nonskilled laborers hard to come by in provinces.
The labor force prefer to work in urban areas where pay is higher than in rural areas causing a drain on much needed manpower.
DepEd records show in 2014 there were 52 reverted classrooms with 36 ongoing and 638 completed pitted against a target of 726.
In 2015 there were also 42 reverted classrooms compared to a 31 ongoing projects and 478 completed comparing to the 551 targeted for the region while in 2016 there were 36 reverted projects with a 223 yet to be started with only 21 completed against 558 ongoing with a target of 838.