DepEd vows to complete classroom construction for Yolanda-affected areas by June next year

November 8, 2014 4:44 am 

MANILA, Nov. 7 –Education Secretary Armin Luistro vows to complete classroom construction in typhoon Yolanda-affected areas by June 2015.

The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to deliver basic education to five regions affected by Yolanda (Regions IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA).

The Department of Education's (DepEd) Yolanda interventions are headed toward the fourth and final phase. This includes the rehabilitation of more than 17,000 damaged classrooms, construction of new classrooms, and distribution of school furniture, Luistro said.

The Department of Education (DepEd) continues to deliver basic education to five regions affected by Yolanda (Regions IV-B, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA).

As of Nov. 4, more than half of the targeted 2,313 classrooms remain under construction.

Aside from the government-funded rehabilitation of school facilities and physical structures, DepEd also provided resources for 6.37 million copies of learning materials and textbooks, and computer packages for 134 schools that lost computers.

It continues to provide immediate psychosocial intervention for about 2,500 personnel and 1,886,747 students.

Immediately after Yolanda, the Department organized search teams in all five regions to locate those that could not be contacted.

DepEd also conducted immediate clean-up of schools and offices, and established interim offices.

DepEd made an information program process that facilitated up-to-date data gathering despite the scope of the damaged thousands of schools.

This allowed DepEd to work on its best with its partners from the education cluster, which is the local government units, local and foreign non-government organizations, to reconstruct modern as well as safer learning environments for the affected victims.

Partners quickly responded and allocated resources as an initial response towards rehabilitation.,

Through this partnership, DepEd was able to establish temporary classrooms in less than a month.

“Our first task is to ensure that we instill a sense of normalcy among our learners after any disaster. We ensured that despite the scope and impact of Yolanda, education was not among the casualties. Resumption of classes were done in three waves: November 11, 2013, December 2, 2013, and January 2, 2014, respectively.” Luistro said.

The Department is now on its fourth level monitoring procurement which is the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the damaged classrooms, and implementing strategies that have to do with strengthening its local offices to do community and context based programs.

As they prepare for specific hazards, DepEd has also spearheaded its Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) through capacity-building seminars and programs for DRRM coordinators nationwide, strengthening disaster preparedness and awareness of the Department’s regional offices and the different divisions. One of the aims of the workshop was to train DRRM coordinators to conduct geo-hazard mapping and analyze results in readiness for planning and implementation of disaster response strategies.

“At the end of the day, disaster preparedness is about people. It is about local government working with the local community and institutions to ensure that this is part of our culture and part of our everyday life. It is not only about structures; it is not only about coordination. It is about ensuring that people are prepared not only with respect to skills, but also with respect to a heart that allows them to go beyond themselves—to take care of others: before, during, and after a disaster," he said. (PNA)

RMA/EZRA MAY M. GALACAN/EMMG-OJT/SGPEMMG

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