Students at Palawan National School during the first day of classes on June 3, 2019, for School Year 2019-2020

Shortage of rooms and teachers continue to hound Palawan National School (PNS) as classes opened on June 3.

Eduardo Santos, principal of the PNS, said they need additional 60 rooms to accommodate 9,500 students.

Santos said they also expect the number to go over 10,000 since there are still students who are enrolling.

The deficiency in the number of classrooms compared to the students has forced school authorities to resort to the shifting of classes for senior high students.

“Iyong kakulangan ng classrooms kasi sa senior high from 6:30 to 12:30 p.m., first shift, 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. ang second shift sa senior high. Pero dito sa junior high, 7:00 a.m. ang regular class natin hanggang 11:00 or 11:30 a.m. then papasok ng 1:00 p.m. hanggang 4:00 or 4:30 p.m. pupuwede na umuwi pero ‘yong mga special programs, iba yong pasok no’n,” Santos said.

PNS has a total of 125 sections from grades 7 to 12, but only has less than 100 classrooms available.

In order to complete the needed 125 classrooms, Santos said that the junior high classes borrow rooms from the senior high students.

The school’s senior high has 80 classrooms with 16 unfinished rooms, records show.

Confusion also marred the first day of classes as both teachers and students had difficulty finding their assigned rooms, Santos said.

“Syempre, ‘yong mga bago na mga bata kahit nasabi na sa kanila ‘yong mga building, ‘yong room number, ‘yong advisers lalo na ‘yong mga grade 7, hindi pa talaga, ikot-ikot pa rin talaga. Kaya ‘yan ‘yong number one, pinapa-assist natin sa mga security guards na samahan na lang, magtiyaga na lang muna tayo, kung wala talaga sa records, balik ng guidance then andoon kasi sa guidance office ‘yong records ng mga bata pati mga parents nandyan. Sabi ko, sige ngayon papasukin ang mga parent, bukas wag na,” he added.

Santos said that his school also faces the problem of lack of teachers for both junior and senior high school students.

He said that 20 additional teachers are needed for junior high while another six are needed for the senior high.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) Palawan Division reported that they expect 25,000 students for kindergarten, 135,000 elementary pupils, 75,000 junior high students and 21,000 senior high students for the school year 2019- 2020.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.