This Educational Facilities Manual is a revision of the 2007 Educational Facilities Handbook. The Department, through the Physical Facilities and Schools Engineering Division of the Office of Planning Service (PFSED-OPS) saw the urgent need for the revision of this material in the face of a common concern and interest – the challenge of climate change and disaster risk reduction in schools.
This Manual is a product of consultations with DepEd Central and regional/division offices, as well as with personages from the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), the Heritage Conservation Society, and the Commission on Audit (COA), National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), and member agencies of the Education in Emergencies cluster. To strengthen its reliability, it was subjected to in-house and field validations with Schools Division Superintendents, School Principals, Physical Facilities Coordinators, and Promotional Staff of the Division Offices.
It is specifically prepared to provide the DepEd central, regional and field officials with a reference material to facilitate the efficient and effective management of educational facilities. The school principals as they assume their new roles as managers under a decentralized set-up of the Department will find this material very useful, with its discussion on various hazards that may result to disasters when not given priority attention through preparedness, and risk reduction. Topics include school building construction guidelines: current practices and improvements needed, among others. With the needed information easily available, this will aid in policy formulation and decision making relative to educational facilities management as well as in the prompt and prudent resolution of issues, problems and other concerns.
This collaborative project was implemented as a major contribution to the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action through Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into Development Planning, Policy Formulation and Implementation in the Education Sector, with focus on the construction of public school buildings.
This material puts together statutory provisions, rules, regulations, standards, guidelines, and instructions (including illustrations, samples, etc.), on the effective management and supervision of school facilities which otherwise would not be easily accessible to the field, as well as pertinent provisions of applicable laws on procurement, on accessibility, on classroom allocation, disaster risk reduction, etc.
With this Manual, management of educational facilities will be without much difficulty, efficient and effective, thus contributing to the achievement of the quest for quality education.
Table of Contents
Educational Facilities Defined
The term “educational facilities” refers to all the physical properties of a school, consisting of the grounds, buildings, and the various facilities within the school grounds and inside the school buildings.
Also known as the school plant or the physical facilities of a school; thus, the terms educational school facilities, school plant, and physical facilities may be used interchangeably.
Importance of Educational Facilities
Educational facilities are considered indispensable to a school; they do not only provide housing for the school but also serve as facilitating agents for all the educational activities that take place in a school.
The availability of safe, secured and satisfactory educational facilities (i.e., site, building, furniture, and equipment) is one of the prerequisites for the opening of a new school. Sites should be assessed in terms of its vulnerability to various geological and hydro meteorological hazards. Hazard-specific resilient features that have undergone thorough feasibility and viability studies must be incorporated in the design of the buildings or structures (Nino Relox, PAGASA).
Conversely, one of the grounds for the closure of a school is substandard facilities (i.e., lack safe, sanitary, and adequate buildings and site).
The availability of safe, secured, adequate and satisfactory educational facilities will support the teaching and learning processes and ultimately improve the quality of basic education.
Basic Principles on Educational Facilities
The primary function of educational facilities is to provide the proper school environment that is most conducive to effective teaching and learning. It shall be responsive to changes in teaching methods and school organization taking into consideration the changes in educational process which has become more active, interrelated, and has become an integral part of the wider community.
Functional and effective educational facilities are developed, operated and managed on the basis of a comprehensive plan of action of the school, prepared by all stakeholders in education in the community. It shall include sound educational facility planning and design process principles to:
a. Maximize collaboration in school planning design through consultative planning, design and project implementation, involving a wide spectrum of representatives from the community, e.g., administrative decision-makers, parents, business and community leaders, technical people, teachers, school administrators, and pupils/students;
b. Build a proactive facility management program which anticipates facility problems during the planning phase like maintenance and operations of the educational facilities.
c. Plan schools as neighborhood-scaled community learning centers considering the following steps:
c.1 Locate the school in a well-defined neighborhood as this will provide opportunities for children and parents to walk to the school and provide an identity for that community;
c.2 Provide a variety of services at flexible schedules and make the same accessible to end-users of different backgrounds especially during calamities/disasters wherein the school buildings are being used as evacuation centers and temporary shelters to affected community members;
c.3 Create an environment that draws the community to the school and that increases interaction in compliance with the principles of the Schools First Initiative (SFI) and the School-Based Management (SBM);
c.4 The school shall provide facilities accessible to the entire community, creating an increased involvement and awareness of the educational process; and
c.5 School facilities that act as true community centers to serve the broader society goals of providing the setting for meaningful civic participation and engagement at the local level.
Plan for learning to take place directly in the community which affirms that learning happens all the time and in many different places. A variety of social and economic factors have created an environment which educators can tap as a learning resource be these in urban, suburban or rural settings. This will establish partnership with museums, zoos, other public institutions as well as local business or industrial workplace settings in compliance with Republic Act No. 8525 otherwise known as the “Adopt-A-School Program”, involving external stakeholders in education.
Constant evaluation of educational facilities shall be made in terms of efficiency of operation and maintenance of standards in relation to the efficiency and effectiveness of instruction.
The Educational Facilities Program
An educational facilities program is basically a comprehensively planned set of decisions for action which are directed at the achievement of specific goals within specified time frames. It shall be an integral part of the total educational program of the school.
The program shall be planned within the framework of well-defined educational objectives. Teachers, supervisors, architects, engineers, etc., under the leadership and coordination of the school administrator, shall cooperatively undertake it. This is to draw out the best knowledge and thinking of many groups and individuals who can contribute valuably the formulation of a comprehensive and sound educational facilities program.
A comprehensive educational facilities program shall cover within its scope of action such aspects as establishing, organizing, developing, improving, maintaining, financing, evaluating, etc., the school furniture, equipment, school buildings and school sites.
The formulation of decisions for action shall take into account the total educational program for the community as well as new trends and developments in education, which influence the nature of the school program, and the corresponding requirements in physical facilities. It shall also be founded on data derived from a survey of existing facilities and results of the school mapping process.
For optimal effectiveness, decisions for action incorporated in the educational facilities program shall be categorized as to short-range, medium-range, and long-range time frames. It shall be borne in mind that once a school is established, it is expected to continue operating for generations; if not permanently; such that its educational facilities shall be programmed accordingly in terms of such time dimensions.