By Alexander Villafania
TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA - After several months of elimination, six public high schools are left in the finals of the Best Innovative Practices in Managing Large and Extra Large Classes, a contest conducted by the Department of Science and Technology - Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI).
The finalists in the arge Class category are Andres Bonifacio Integrated School in Mandaluyong City, Bacong National High School in Zamboanga del Norte, Looc National High School in Riza, and San Isidro National High School in Makati. These schools have classes that are filled with 50 to 70 students at a time.
Meanwhile, Las Piñas East National High School and Navotas National High School are in the Very Large Class category, with the number of students going higher than 70, sometimes nearing 90.
These are the schools that are capable of maintaining student education despite the staggering teacher-student ratio. They use a variety of techniques to manage large student population within a class, which includes splitting assignments per class and working or using computers to deliver lessons.
The participating schools in the contest submitted proposals on how to manage large classrooms. The finalists will be given P100,000 to implement their proposals. Students of the recipient schools will then be assessed if the implementation of the proposals were effective.
The two schools with the best proposals based on student performance will be declared the winners and will receive an additional P100,000 to further improve their proposals.
DOST-SEI Director Dr. Filma Brawner said the contest aims to find the best practices in schools with large to very large classes and apply this to other schools with the same concerns.
Brawner acknowledged that the Philippines has a huge teacher and classroom deficit that is affecting student performance and even their ability to stay in school.
Citing statistics from the Department of Education (DepEd) the current teacher deficit is put at 37,563 while classroom deficit is pegged at 150,000.
The recommended teacher-student ratio is 1:38 by the DepEd but the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation is 1:30.
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