DepEd: 869 schools used as evacuation sites, 226 damaged from 'Rolly'
A man pushes his bike while a worker operates an excavator to clear a road of boulders and volcanic ash washed from nearby Mayon volcano brought by heavy rains during the super Typhoon Goni after it hit the town of Malinao, Albay province, south of Manila on November 1, 2020.
AFP/Charism Sayat

DepEd: 869 schools used as evacuation sites, 226 damaged from 'Rolly'

(Philstar.com) - November 3, 2020 - 4:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — Education officials on Monday reported that over 82,000 individuals are currently taking shelter in some 869 public schools in the wake of Typhoon Rolly's onslaught in the country. 

Partial figures from the agency showed that 21,000 families or 82,584 individuals are in the said schools across seven regions, with majority of the evacuees coming from the hard-hit Bicol Region at 11,049 families or 43,858 persons. 

"Rolly", the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, made a total of four landfalls over Undas weekend, affecting hundreds of thousands of individuals and leaving 23 people dead so far, per a report by disaster officials. 

DepEd also reported that 226 public schools have sustained damage due to the typhoon, with at least 7,169 learning materials and 194 computer sets damaged as well. 

The public works department has put an estimated P5.6 billion so far for the cost of damage incurred from the typhoon. 

At a Laging Handa briefing, Secretary Leonor Briones also cautioned that schools already being used as coronavirus quarantine facilities should no longer be used as evacuation sites. 

"It's either one or the other, or they have to be safely distanced and pass standards and requirements of the Department of Health," she said in mixed English and Filipino. "What we only don't want is for them to be close to each other. We can't have both quarantine and evacuation centers in schools."

Learning woes

Despite Rolly wrecking havoc, Briones said the printing of modules for blended learning will most likely not be affected, as materials were already produced for the first quarter of the school year. 

The department, however, is leaving it up to its local offices and divisions to resolve issues hounding their areas, such as continuity of learning for students affected by the typhoon.

"'Yung mga principals at superintendents, alam nila 'yung gagawin sa mga ganitong sitwasyon," said Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio. Itong mga nasa Bicol...bibigyan sila ng pagkakataon na matuto rin gamit yung mga self-learning resources na ginamit ng kamag-aral nila."

(The principals and superintendents already know what to do in these situations. Those affected by the typhoon in Bicol will be given the opportunity to continue studying from resources that were used by other students.)

San Antonio also admitted that activities that require internet connection would be difficult to hold in the province, with communication and power lines yet to be restored. Briones, meanwhile, said divisions should no longer wait for instructions from the Central Office to respond to challenges brought by Rolly.

"Halimbawa nabasa ang module, siguro hindi naman susulat ang superintendent na 'basa ang module namin.' Maghanap sila ng paraan. Ibilad nila, yung iba pina-plantsa."

(For example the modules got wet, superintendents should no longer write to us but instead look for ways. They could let it dry out in the sun or even iron them." — Christian Deiparine

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