TACLOBAN CITY- The region’s more than 1 million students trooped back to their respective schools on Monday with concern on lack of chairs.

The Department of Education (DepEd) in the region, through its information officer, Mercy Sarmiento, said that the region still needs more than 280,000 chairs fill up the need of the students.

But the office, insisted that the region no longer need much of school rooms thanks largely to the donations of various local and international nongovernment organizations.

“We are thankful to them especially for the repair of school buildings damaged or destroyed due to (supertyphoon) Yolanda,” said Mercy Sarmiento, information officer of the education department in Eastern Visayas.

During the onslaught of Yolanda, there were more than 9,000 school buildings that were either damaged or destroyed.
But due to the assistance by various NGOs, more than 10,900 school buildings were either repaired or constructed, Sarmiento said.

In the town of Tanauan in Leyte, a four school buildings composed of 10 classrooms were built and donated by the intel and its foundation, intel Foundation which they donated on the Monday.
Marlon Tangpuz, school principal of the Sto.Nino Elementary School, said that he was overwhelmed with the donation of the intel.

“Many organizations came to us and promised to help us rebuild our school buildings but only intel made good of their promise,” Tangpuz said. He, however, admitted that the school needs 10 more classrooms to accommodate their more than 500 students.

In fact, Tangpuz said, Grade V and Grade VI pupils are still to hold their classes in temporary classrooms the condition of which are also in need of repair.

Meantime, the Lorenzo Daa Memorial School, the farthest school in Tacloban with more than 230 pupils, said that they don’t need classrooms anymore as the existing 6 classrooms are already enough, said principal Lily Talagon.

She said the repairs of their classrooms were made by the DepEd and NGOs as well.
Sarmiento said that the region is still in need of 56,000 chairs for the kindergarten, 150,000 for elementary to include those in Grades7 and 8, and 81,928 for secondary students.

“But the department is addressing this particular shortage, “Sarmiento said. The DepEd projects 736,270 students for the elementary level and 356,554 students in the secondary level.

The population of students in both levels are five percent higher compare to last year’s enrollment.