By Zaldy Comanda
BAGUIO CITY – Baguio City Representative Mark Go has filed House bills 3832 and 3833, converting two annexes of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) – Fort Del Pilar and Hillside into independent national high schools to accommodate more students, and be able to provide quality education in the Summer Capital.
The House Committee on Basic Education and Culture, chaired by Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, approved both bills on February 27 2020.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has put on record her support to the bills, while praising BCNHS for its very high performance in the Philippine International Student Assessment (PISA) exam in reading, mathematics, science, and in culture as well.
“The school has a balance in technical knowledge, reading knowledge, and cultural preservation and this is exactly what we are looking for. I hope this will be sustained when you further strengthen the institution,” Briones added.
Currently, BCNHS has a student population of less than 9,000 with the needs of the students being augmented by two high school annexes – Fort del Pilar Annex and Hillside Annex.
However, there is only one School Principal item and limited regular teacher items. These annexes are under equipped to cater to more students from the nearby barangays in the city of Baguio.
The Fort Del Pilar Annex has a population of about 800 students who are being handled by 29 teachers. It operates with a functional library and 16 classrooms housed in five buildings. However, six of its classrooms, and two of its buildings are only makeshift. Furthermore, the teachers in the annex were merely borrowed from the mother high school.
In the case of Hillside Annex, it has a population of less than 300 students who are being mentored by nine teachers. The annex operates with one functional library, and five classrooms that are housed in three buildings. The teachers from the annex are also borrowed from the mother high school.
Go said, “Nationalizing these two schools will also decongest BCNHS. Right now we cannot do so because of the limited capacity of these annexes.”