With city’s huge educ support, schools urged to perform high

Given the city government’s unprecedented support to education amounting to P1.9 billion, the biggest thus far under any administrations in the past, public elementary and secondary schools must improve their ratings in the National Achievement Test (NAT).

City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Felix Romy Triambulo made the statement before the gathering of 160 school principals and head teachers attending an orientation on Professional Enhancement Training (PET) for Teachers at the Grand Astoria Hotel last Tuesday.

“You are very lucky in Zamboanga City because you have all the support of the local government … from trainings to facilities and allowances. Most schools in the region don not have what you have but they perform good in NAT ratings,” said Triambulo, who has been assigned in Zamboanga del Norte and Sibugay provinces.

He thanked the city government under the leadership of Mayor Beng Climaco for its overwhelming support to education, and he challenged the school principals to use the resources given by the LGU in improving at least their NAT ratings.

“If other schools can do, with less or no support at all from LGUs, why can’t you?” he told the principals and head teachers. “You must be determined to get at least passing mark in NAT. It’s a question of attitude, how to meet the challenge, whether to surrender or take it on,” he added.

“This is the only LGU (in the region) that gives a lot of support to schools, comparable to Makati City in terms of assistance. Throughout Region 9, only you that get P1,000 monthly allowance from the local government,” the division superintendent said in addressing the principals and head teachers from all public elementary and secondary schools in the city.

“Hopefully, we’ll do our part,” Dr. Triambulo to the principals, as he lamented the fact that despite the huge LGU support, city schools always failed to get passing marks in NAT. Latest ratings were only 35% for elementary and 39% for secondary, way below the passing mark of 75%.

Early on, Mayor Climaco challenged the school principals and head teachers to dream big and seize all opportunities for career development as she bannered the city government’s support to education amounting to P1.9 billion in a span of four years (2014-2018).

She said part of the budget for education this year and next year is the construction of 21 climate change resilient school buildings amounting to P905.12 million, covered courts with bleachers worth P32.64 million, and P74.56 million allocation for the purchase of 84,579 armchairs.

The amount of P69.99 million has been appropriated for the allowance/cash incentives for 5,833 teachers at P1,000 per month, and P5.92 million for the conduct of PET.

Added to that, the city government has also allocated P2 million in the 2019 budget for financial assistance to teachers who would wish to pursue material or doctoral degree in any of the state colleges and universities in the city as provided for under a new city ordinance.

Under the ordinance, those who will avail of the grant are entitled to receive P10,000 assistance every semester and P20,000 for dissertation. This is another first for the education sector under the present administration.-(Vic Larato)