The role of education in crisis
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2019 - 12:00am

The recent earthquake experience in Mindanao has shown that education is deeply affected in such times of crisis. This is not the first time for us, and the Department of Education is always at the front lines as continuous rehabilitation and rebuilding programs are pursued in order to ensure quality education.

The right of a child to quality education is a basic human right, and in the Philippines where we still experience rough roads going to schools, hours of traveling and other risks and concerns  that impede a learner’s capability to acquire proper schooling, is very much still a challenge.

Having been able to speak with the Department of Education on radio, their efforts in this most recent crisis shows us that data is very crucial in terms of getting back to “normalcy” which as we all know takes time.

The Yolanda tragedy for one left a little over a million learners displaced not to mention the  personnel that were also very much affected. With more than 3,000 schools hit, the Department had to exert all efforts to respond to the needs of learners as well as their personnel.

Clean ups and temporary make-shift classrooms were set up including the necessary learning materials for continuing education.

To date, victims have recovered and classrooms have been repaired. Classes are once again on track and long term interventions are a part of inclusive growth.

We never know when tragedy will strike but the important part is that we are prepared when it does.

It is reassuring to know that our interagency partnerships are functioning accordingly and the way we respond has become pro-active. Our learnings are proving to be a great source for progress.

The task of the Department of Education in not only securing the safety of learners and personnel, but simultaneously ensuring continuous education is to me a massive undertaking.

On a regular day, the DepEd already faces diverse challenges to fortify quality education for all.

The recent Mindanao experience is a challenge once again for the department. however, seeing that constant interventions are underway provides both our learners and teachers not only the chance to recover but to take part in building better.

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