2013 DepEd budget to wipe out fund shortage in public schoolsThursday, September 13, 2012 01:47 AM Views : 285Rainier Allan Ronda
With a proposed budget for 2013 of P293.2 billion, the Department of Education (DepEd) hopes to finally eradicate resource shortages in public schools like classrooms, teachers, and school furniture by next year.
DepEd Undersecretary for Finance and Administration Francisco Varela said that the whopping P293,227,259,000, which shows a 23 percent increase from this year’s P238.76 billion budget, will allow them to fund classroom construction and procurement of other resources to address all the shortages.
The 2013 proposed P293.22 billion budget, Varela said, included a P1 billion regular fund for school building of the DepEd; a P14.68 billion fund for classroom construction for the Department of Public Works and Highways, and a P500 million fund to construct a Museum of National History.
Varela noted that the steady huge increase in budget enjoyed by DepEd during the administration of President Benigno Aquino III was testament to the priority given by the latter to education, and implement genuine reforms to the education sector especially with its ambitious K (Kindergarten) to 12 basic education curriculum (BEC) reform program that made preschool mandatory, and add two years of senior high school in 2016.
In 2011, the DepEd was given a budget of P207.27 billion, which rose to P238.76 billion in 2012, translating to a 15 percent increase.
With the P293.2 billion budget for 2013, Varela said DepEd opted to fund the hiring of 61,510 teachers, the construction of 17,939 classrooms, 907,524 schooldesks and chairs, lay out 90,461 water and sanitation facilities, procure and distribute 31 million learning materials.
Varela noted that DepEd had successfully conducted the bidding last August for the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) school infrastructure program, which will allow the construction of 9,301 classrooms over and above the classrooms to be built by DepEd and DPWH from their annual classroom construction budget.
The budget, he added, will also allow DepEd to pursue preparations for the rollout of Grade 11 in 2016, and Grade 12 in 2017, as well as ready the enhanced curriculum of Grades 7 and 8, previously the first year and second year level in public schools, with teacher training on the enhanced K to 12 BEC.