Pangasinan school kids hold classes in makeshift rooms

MANAOAG, Pangasinan — Grades four, five and six pupils of Pao Elementary School will hold their classes in makeshift classrooms following the fire incident on Monday afternoon that destroyed their school building with six classrooms, including the guidance office.

In an interview Tuesday, Education Program Supervisor Maybelene Bautista, designated information officer of the Department of Education Pangasinan II Division, said staff from regional office has already inspected the burned-down classrooms.

Bautista said pupils will have their classes in makeshift classrooms for the meantime.

“The school has a spacious ground where the pupils of Grades 4, 5 and 6 will temporarily hold their classes,” she said.

Municipal Fire Marshall SFO4 Eric Ninalga, in an interview on Monday, said that the fire started at around 5:45 p.m. and was eventually declared fire out 25 minutes later.

In an initial report by the Bureau of Fire Protection, a water dispenser plugged in may have caused the fire, which quickly ravaged nearby rooms, as much of the building was made of light materials.

“Although the fire was quickly extinguished, much of the classrooms was burned to the ground, almost everything was gone due to the majority of the building being made of wood and other light materials,” said Ninalga.

Ninalga, however, confirmed that the classrooms were carefully inspected by the bureau prior to the start of classes.

“We inspected the rooms before the Barangay and SK (Sangguniang Kabataan) elections, and we inspected it again a day before the start of classes,” he said.

The school’s library was barely spared from the raging flames, but the destroyed guidance office contained the records of more than 500 students enrolled in the school. Ahikam Pasion/