MANILA — The Department of Education (DepEd) said Thursday it inaugurated 339 newly constructed school buildings that would help address the problem of classroom shortage in the country.
In a statement, the department said the 339 buildings in various regions had a total of 2,040 new classrooms.
"Although the conduct of face-to-face classes is not yet allowed, these newly-installed classrooms will be instrumental in our mission to address classroom shortage in the long run," Education Secretary Leonor Briones said.
The DepEd said it also restored 98 Gabaldon School Buildings, which are heritage school buildings.
Under the law, government agencies are tasked to conserve Gabaldon buildings for their "architectural, historical, and social significance."
The simultaneous ceremonial turnovers of the school buildings were held on Wednesday in the provinces of Apayao, Benguet, Kalinga, Biliran and Zamboanga del Norte, and cities of Baguio, Dipolog and Ormoc.
The DepEd also said it launched the Last Mile Schools Development Program that would prioritize the development of "last-mile schools" or public schools in far-flung and conflict-affected areas.
"Different [DepEd] bureaus, services, and schools divisions are working together in directing various programs, projects, and activities to address the needs of these disadvantaged public schools and learners," Education Undersecretary Alain Pascua said.
The agency carried out the projects even as in-person classes remain banned due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, with Philippine schools implementing remote learning for the second school year.