By Felix N. Codilla
ORMOC CITY, Leyte, May 25 (PNA) – With the implementation of the Senior High School (SHS) program, the Department of Education (DepEd) is seriously contemplating on recovering a property occupied by Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU) – Ormoc Campus to build a standalone school.
Two of Ormoc’s 14 high schools are not qualified to offer SHS – Ormoc Night High School, which doesn’t have its own campus and New Ormoc National High School (NONHS), the biggest school in the city with a population of more than 5,200, said Ormoc Schools Division Superintendent Mariza S. Magan.
Kindergarten and 12 years basic education program (K to 12) guidelines allow schools with less than 3,000 population to offer SHS.
Because of this, Magan wants to build a school that will offer all four tracks under the SHS program namely Academic, Arts and Design, Technical-Vocational (Tech-Voc), and Sports.
The proposed school will be put up on the two-hectare site occupied by EVSU.
Magan stressed the need for a standalone SHS in Ormoc considering only a few schools will offer the Tech-Voc track as it needs huge investments on laboratories for science and technology, engineering and math.
The official believes this is possible considering that the land title where the EVSU-OC campus stands bears the name of Department of Education, Culture and Sports as the legal owner. “We need to get that back (the property) because student population has been growing,” she said.
Land dispute background
NONHS is the former Ormoc City High School (OCHS) which was established in 1949. The school was dissolved on Nov. 13, 1997 by virtue of RA 8379 converting OCHS into Ormoc School of Arts and Trade (OSAT).
But the law was never fully implemented as it would displace more than 4,000 students.
To save OCHS, then DepEd Secretary Andrew B. Gonzales approved the reestablishment of the secondary school this time with the name NONHS on June 19, 2000. A compromise was reached which allowed OSAT to occupy two hectares of the 7.3-hectare campus of NONHS.
Due to funding constraints, OSAT was taken over by the Tacloban-based Leyte Institute of Technology now known as VSU on school year 1999-2000.
Meanwhile, Magan bared that her division needs PHP251.25 million to fully implement the SHS. The amount will be used to construct laboratories, workshops and 103 new classrooms, and the purchase of furniture and facilities like computers, tools, etc.
Incidentally, DepEd’s Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division has included the building of 58 new classrooms in 11 Ormoc high schools worth PHP78.11 million to the Basic Educational Facilities Fund Batch 4B and the SHS Program Batch 1. (PNA)