The Department of Education (DepEd) is sustaining the substantial gains in access to education through the provision of adequate education facilities, teaching and non-teaching personnel, and learning resources. However, gaps in resources and facilities still remain in schools that have not met the allocation criteria for various education inputs, particularly in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). To address this, DepEd is strengthening its efforts to reach out to these Last Mile Schools.
DepEd Memorandum No. 59, s. 2019
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Prioritizing the Development of the Last Mile Schools in 2020-2021: Reaching Out and Closing the Gap
Among the indicators used in identifying a school as among the Last Mile Schools are as follows:
a. Having less than four classrooms;
b. With makeshift or nonstandard rooms;
c. Absence of electricity;
d. Have not been allocated funds for repairs or new construction projects in the last four years;
e. With travel distance of more than one hour from town center, or with difficulty of terrain;
f. Having multigrade classes/rooms;
g. With less than five teachers;
h. Having a student population of less than 100 learners; and
i. With more than 75% Indigenous People (IP) learners.
The Information and Communications Technology Service (ICTS), Planning Service (PS), and the Administrative Service-Education Facilities Division (AS-EFD) are directed to identify the schools that will fall under the final list of Last Mile Schools using all available data, such as from the Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS), reports from the field, the ongoing Nationwide Baseline Survey, and other applicable data and information. The list will also be validated by EFD Engineers and Architects, and Disaster Risk and Reduction (DRRM) coordinators. The validated list will then be presented to the Executive Committee (ExeCom) for approval.
DepEd, through its bureaus, services, schools divisions, and offices, shall jointly plan and implement programs, projects, and activities that address the needs of the Last Mile Schools, such as:
a. Building of classrooms to address the minimum of four instructional rooms as standard for every school;
b. Replacement of makeshift and nonstandard classrooms into standard ones;
c. Construction of a two-story Administration and Climate Change Emergency Storage and Shelter (ACCESS) building for every school to provide rooms for Library, Faculty Room, Principal’s Office, Clinic and Guidance Room, and/or Computer/Technology-Vocational-Livelihood (TVL)/Science Laboratory, and as Emergency Storage for school equipment, tools, supplies and materials in case of calamities;
d. Provision of needed standard school furniture;
e. Installation of solar panels to energize the unenergized schools;
f. Processing of land ownership papers and documents;
g. Delivery and installation of DepEd Computerization Program (DCP) packages;
h. Connection of the school to the DepEd Network and Internet;
i. Deployment of learning and administrative systems;
j. Feeding of all learners under the School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP);
k. Provision of Oplan Kalusugan sa DepEd (OK sa DepEd) services;
l. Provision of potable water through deep wells, rump pumps, filtration equipment, among other facilities;
m. Provision of funds for Gulayan sa Paaralan (GPP) program;
n. Provision of funds for School Inside a Garden (SIGA) program;
o. Training of student-leaders and teacher-advisers;
p. Provision of teaching and learning materials;
q. Provision of TVL, Science and Mathematics equipment;
s. Provision of nonteaching personnel for administrative and financial transactions;
t. Provision of the necessary, appropriate, and timely capacity-building for the personnel in the discharge of tasks and functions related to records management, asset management, cash management, and general services;
u. Determination and recommendation of the appropriate budgetary requirements to support the operations of the schools;
v. Engagement of external partners for goods/services that DepEd cannot provide, such as construction/rehabilitation/painting of fence, school gate, stage, multipurpose hall, among others;
w. Study the applicability of alternative procurement processes and alternative building materials to conform with the terrain and remoteness of the Last Mile Schools; and,
x. Work for partnerships with the different agencies of government, including Local Government Units (LGUs).
DepEd, in all governance levels, shall exert efforts to facilitate convergence initiatives with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and other government agencies, including LGUs, to address the broader needs in the areas that could not be addressed by DepEd, including access roads, health concerns of the community, expansion of coverage of School-Based Feeding Program beyond wasted and severely wasted learners, among others.
The Office of the Undersecretaiy for Administration, in cooperation with the Planning Service, shall consolidate the plans under one comprehensive program of implementation.
Immediate dissemination of this Memorandum is desired.
LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES