Classes resume in Ursula-affected Iloilo schools

The Department of Education in Iloilo (DepEd-Iloilo) said classes have resumed on Monday in northern municipalities in the province which were recently hit by Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone).

This, despite the Christmas typhoon has left partial, major, and total damages in some 556 classrooms in the northern Iloilo towns, said Dr. Roel Bermejo, DepEd-Iloilo schools division superintendent, in a phone interview Monday.

Balasan Central Elementary School in Balasan town, however, will resume its classes on Tuesday as clearing operations in the school premises are still ongoing.

There were big trees that need to be cleared out in the premises of Balasan Central Elementary School and this we see as danger to the children if we resume classes on Monday, he said.

Meanwhile, Bermejo said 393 of the 556 classrooms in the northern towns were partially damaged, 143 with major damages, while 20 were totally damaged.

Damages include blown off galvanized iron sheets, toppled posts, damaged windows, among others.

Fourteen of the totally damaged classrooms are from Carles town, three from Estancia, two from Batad, and one from San Dionisio.

The 556 damaged classrooms did not hamper the classes since the schools have prepared alternative spaces to hold lectures.

There is available structure like learning resource centers, other classrooms in the schools, and gymnasiums which were used to hold classes, he said.

Typhoon Ursula also left damages on textbooks and other learning materials, Bermejo said.

Officials of the education department were deployed on the field to assess the damages on classrooms and learning materials to request assistance from the DepEd central office.

There were textbooks that were left to dry after the typhoon and some of these can be used again. We will submit a list of destroyed or damaged learning materials to the central office, he said.

Some schools outside northern Iloilo also have buffer stocks of learning materials, which can also be sent to affected schools, he added.

The school heads and teachers also have preparations to assist students who have lost their school supplies to the typhoon.

Our principals and teachers have automatic response in case there are students who do not have school supplies, he said.

Bermejo said some primary schools in the northern towns have prepared pencils and other materials for writing for the students to use.

Northern Iloilo includes the towns of Ajuy, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Batad, Carles, Concepcion, Estancia, Lemery, San Dionisio, San Rafael, and Sara.

Aside from these towns, classes in the rest of the 42 towns and one component city in Iloilo province resumed on Monday, Bermejo added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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