Celso shares city’s achievements in education with JBEC delegates PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 14:56

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday shared the city government’s achievements in improving the quality of public education in Zamboanga with close to 400 delegates of the 2nd Jesuit Basic Education Congress at the Fr. William Kreutz, SJ Campus of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University High School in Tumaga, this city.

In his message to open the three-day congress, Lobregat said the city government like the Jesuit missionaries also gives high priority to education as part of its social contract with the people of Zamboanga as embodied in the 17-point agenda and is one of the top priorities in the City Development Strategy.

According to him, from 2007 to June 30, 2012, the city government has already invested P1.186 billion in the construction, repair of school buildings, fences, comfort rooms, stages, covered courts and other education-related projects in public schools—all intended to ensure a better future for the city’s youth.

“As we all know, the priority responsibility of public education is lodged with the Department of Education which receives the biggest budget from the national government. Yet, almost 90% of that budget goes to the payment of teachers’ salaries, allowances, benefits and the like. Very little is left for maintenance and operation expenditures and much less for the school building program. This has resulted in shortage of classrooms, school desks, teachers and books nationwide, and if we will wait for DepEd, the problem will get worse and we will be waiting forever for almost nothing,” Lobregat said.
“This is why, our administration, since improving the financial condition of the city, has taken and continues to take the cudgels for DepED to ensure quality education for our young people,” He added.

Foremost in the city’s education projects is the massive school building program to address classroom shortage. He cited the 3-storey 15-classroom building at the Zamboanga City High School-West, the 3-storey 21-classroom building at the Talon-Talon Elementary School, the 3-storey 23-classroom building at the Tugbungan Elementary School and the 3-storey 27-classroom building worth P22.4 million at the Zamboanga City High School-Main inaugurated last July 15 with Secretary Armin Luistro gracing the event.

Last Saturday, the city unveiled four infrastructures projects in two schools, all worth P18.8 million with Education Undersecretary Lino Rivera as guest of honor.

Meanwhile, the 2nd JBEC is anchored on the theme “#Mindanao: Re-Imagining the Filipino Soul and Story.” In attendance are almost 400 educators and formators from 14 Jesuit primary and secondary schools under the Jesuit Basic Education Commission (JBEC), specifically from Manila, Naga, Iloilo, Cebu, Culion, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City. The ADZU played host to the event as part of its centennial celebration. — Vic Larato