MANILA – Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones on Monday encouraged schools hit by typhoon “Vinta” last month to help bring normalcy back in the students’ lives by continuing their education.
Briones said education must continue whether there was armed conflict, flood, or earthquake.
“All of these is for the children. And we should always guarantee that whatever happens, whether we have a natural disaster, or whatever disaster, that education will always continue. We have to assure the children that they can look forward to a normal life,” she said.
“And the only, the best way to be able to bring them back to a sense of normalcy is to see to it that their education continues,” Briones added.
”Vinta” had affected 32 schools in Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte due to flashfloods, according to DepEd.
Three of these schools were severely damaged, it added. The total worth of damage still needed to be further assessed.
Last January 5, Briones, along with other DepEd officials, visited the affected schools in Lanao del Norte. They also checked on the needed furniture, equipment and learning materials for these schools.
Engineers were also tasked to inspect and monitor the affected schools, especially where there were reported structural damages.
Brigada Eskwela was also held in the affected schools in Lanao del Norte.
Brigada Eskwela is DepEd’s program that promotes volunteerism, preparing schools for the opening of classes. Through this program, volunteers work together in cleaning and repairing schools, planting trees and painting.
Briones also emphasized how Brigada Eskwela and the concept of bayanihan in rebuilding and rehabilitating schools which used to be done during the summer vacation, had become national and year-round in scope.
“Once a year lang ang Brigada Eskwela, but now that we have seen all these disasters, and all this need for help and cooperation, we’re making it national. In the case of Lanao, the entire Region X is being mobilized, as well as our external partners,” she said.
Last December, DepEd also conducted Brigada Eskwela in Biliran province, which was hit by “Urduja”.
Meanwhile, DepEd assured that all the damaged structures that needed to be repaired and replaced would be included in the agency’s 2018 budget.
Briones reiterated that students must be taught about preparedness and climate change.
“We have to prepare them for climate change. They need to know what’s happening to the world, what can we do about it.” she said. (PNA)