DEPED-ARMM trains school heads on classroom construction management

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – To ensure good quality classrooms are built in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the Department of Education has trained school heads on classroom construction management.

Dr. John Magno, DEPEDARMM Secretary, said the school heads need to learn the basic concepts of construction as well as to get acquainted with building design and specifications of good quality construction materials.

“We want our school heads to learn all these skills so they could help us monitor the construction of classrooms in their respective schools,” Dr. Magno said. He shared that the regional government has filed cases last year against contractors who performed poorly.

“The training of school heads in classroom construction management is one of our strategies to prevent contractors from short-changing the schoolchildren, the end-users of our classrooms,” he added.

To date, the department has trained 1,125 school heads as well as other stakeholders such as parents of schoolchildren and DEPEDARMM division supervisors with the help of the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAMARMM), a program funded by the Australian Government.

BEAM–ARMM was launched in 2012 aimed at contributing to the alleviation of poverty and the emergence of peace in ARMM through targeted investments in basic education.

Elma Maliga, school principal of Sapakan National High School in Rajah Buayan in Maguindanao, acknowledged that she has no engineering background. “I wouldn’t know the intricacies of construction work,” she said noting that in the past, she was not too particular on the quality of school structures built by the contractors.

Following the training, Maliga realized the importance of monitoring the progress of classroom construction on a daily basis.

“Now, I want to check every construction material delivered by the contractors to our school. I want to see how the contractors install the columns of the classroom building – from assembling the iron bars to the pouring of concrete,” she said. Maliga added that columns, the ceiling, and the floor must be constructed properly for the safety of the schoolchildren.

Secretary Magno said DEPED-ARMM will ensure that contractors will fulfil their obligation of building quality classrooms using good quality materials. “Gone are the days of poorly constructed classrooms in ARMM,” he said.

The classroom construction management training for school heads is a landmark initiative introduced by the BEAM-ARMM Program and implemented by DEPED-ARMM starting in 2014.

The DEPED-ARMM chief said the training is unique to the region. “I haven’t heard of programs such as this in other regions,” he stressed. He said the department has also maximized the use of social media as a platform to monitor the progress of classroom construction in the region.

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