Classes in ‘Nona’-damaged schools resume -- DepEd

LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) -- Classes in all levels in schools damaged by typhoon 'Nona' in the province of Sorsogon resumed Monday, the Department of Education (DepEd) Sorsogon Schools Division Office (SDO) said.

The DepEd-Sorsogon SDO made the announcement amid its recovery efforts after the typhoon caused heavy damages in school infrastructures, including furniture and instructional materials, as it ravaged the province on December 14, 2015.

During the flag-raising ceremony on Monday, SDO Superintendent Danilo Despi instructed all office personnel to monitor the resumption of classes in all schools in the division and validate the submitted Rapid Assessment of Damages Report (RADAR) of both elementary and secondary schools.

“The school heads are expected to be creative in dealing with their concerns on the resumption of classes faced with typhoon damages,” Despi said, adding that “Initiatives such as shifting schedule of classes, combination of grade levels can be implemented by school authorities to cope with the lack of classrooms due to typhoon damages."

Earlier, DepEd Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Laguda instructed DepEd personnel in Bicol, Mimaropa and Northern Samar regions during a coordination meeting for assessment of Typhoon Nona damages to ensure the resumption of classes on Monday.

“Simple activities such as checking of attendance or conducting staff meetings can be done to assure the public, specially the learners that we are ready to welcome them back to school,” Laguda said.

Aside from shifting of classes and merging of grades, schools may explore cross enrolment if necessary, he advised.

Laguda also emphasized the urgent need to construct temporary learning spaces to compensate for the totally destroyed and major-damaged classrooms.

“What we are trying to address is impact to learning and education,” the DepEd top official said.

He also called for a more detailed damage assessment as basis for reconstruction.

“Let us assure local government officials that we will build back better, we will bounce back, and we are serious on bouncing back,” Laguda said.

DepEd Sorsogon has a total of 168,332 elementary and secondary students, of which nearly 60 percent were affected by the typhoon based on the reported schools that sustained typhoon damages.

As of Dec. 29, 2015, 437 out of 530 schools or 82.4 percent of elementary and secondary schools combined submitted RADAR, of which 390 schools or 89.2 percent reported damages in their classrooms. (PNA) BNB/FGS/CBD/EDS