DINALUPIHAN, Bataan – Mayor Maria Angela “Gila” S. Garcia is scheduled to formally open the seven container-type classrooms intended for displaced students, most of them Aetas, of Barangay Bayan-bayanan here on Monday, June 5.
“We have allocated seven container-style, air conditioned classrooms for them. And we made it ready for the opening of classes on Monday,” Garcia said. The classrooms are intended for kindergarten and grades 1 to 6 students.
In a recent interview with 1Bataan.com, Garcia assured that the municipal government continues to find appropriate ways to solve the classroom shortage which resulted from a landslide five years ago where the Bayan-bayanan Elementary School was declared unsafe by the DENR.
After heavy rains in 2012, a landslide tore through the back portion of the school building built at the foot of a mountain in 2004. The school buildings were declared unsafe when several cracks were found slicing through the walls of some of the classrooms.
Since then, classes were being held at a chapel, a garage and a convent, 200 meters away from the abandoned school area.
“June of last year, we have arranged that those in grades 4 to 6 are being fetched back and forth to Pita Elementary School,” Garcia added. Pita is a neighboring village here.
The container-type classrooms were just temporary solution while the Department of Education and the National Commission for Indigenous People are still negotiating where to build the new classrooms here. Most of the lands in these areas belong to the ancestral domain of the Aetas.
Garcia also reported that she expects the construction of the new school buildings here to start within this year as soon as the DepEd and the NCIP settle legal issues.