PASIG CITY, January 19, 2018 – The Department of Education (DepEd) affirmed that education continues amid the challenges posed by Mayon Volcano’s high-level of unrest, while closely coordinating with concerned offices to ensure that learners, teachers, and personnel are safe and well-informed.
Since January 13, the Department, through its Regional Office, led by Director Ramon Fiel Abcede, has implemented interventions and has been closely monitoring the situation.
Based on the January 17 report of DepEd Region 5, of the 33 schools used as evacuation centers, 445 classrooms were occupied by 8,583 families or 33,064 individuals. Schools within the seven-kilometer permanent danger zone have reached a total of 17.
To minimize class interruptions, a number of schools implemented double-shift classes.
DepEd is already fast-tracking the release of funds to the affected Divisions of Albay, Legazpi City, Ligao City, and Tabaco City for the speedy construction of 208 temporary learning spaces (TLS) to enable the 16,791 affected learners to continue classes.
In this regard, the Department is working with local government units (LGUs) to provide alternative evacuation centers for affected residents.
“We look forward to the time when LGUs will build permanent evacuation centers so schools need not be mobilized for this purpose and classes will not be disrupted,” Secretary Leonor Magtoli Briones pointed out.
DepEd is also planning the stockpiling of learning resources near areas that are prone to natural disasters to hasten the continuation of classes following a calamity.
Among the needs of affected learners and personnel are monobloc chairs with armrest; raincoats, boots, and umbrellas (assorted sizes); face masks; plastic envelope; plastic storage bins; hygiene kits; rechargeable flashlights; door mats (recycled tires); and whiteboard and markers.
Since 2015, DepEd has also adopted the Guidelines on Evacuation Center Coordination and Management, which ensures that the learning process continues for children in evacuation centers through the provision of child-friendly spaces (CFS) and educational support activities, among others.