‘Auring’ disrupts opening of classes in New Bataan


A HOUSE appears to have survived the onslaught of Typhoon “Pablo” in New Bataan, Compostela Valley, where scores had been killed by the strongest storm to hit the Philippines. JEOFFREY MAITEM

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley—The resumption of classes in this typhoon-devastated municipality hit a snag Thursday after Tropical Depression “Auring” dumped heavy rains and forced hundreds of families to evacuate overnight.

Elsewhere in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, classes resumed after being shut down on Dec. 4 in the aftermath of Typhoon “Pablo,”  according to Department of Education (DepEd) officials.

Thursday’s school opening in most of the two provinces followed visits by Education Secretary Armin Luistro to public elementary and secondary schools in Davao Oriental.

In Compostela Valley, Education Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano said she allowed classes in New Bataan to resume by Monday as hundreds of families near riverbanks left their homes overnight due to the threat of new flooding. However, classes will resume today if the weather is good, she said Thursday.

Classes in the towns of Compostela and Monkayo have already resumed, in tents or repaired schools.

Quijano, accompanied by provincial and town education officials, also visited the damaged schools in Andap village, the worst-hit area in New Bataan. Quijano said she was touched by the children who showed up at the schools.

“We want to bring back normalcy to the children’s education,” said Quijano.

Nenita Lumaad, the DepEd head in Compostela Valley, said teachers who had undergone psycho-social training would include stress debriefing in their school activities.

The education department will acquire 200 tents in addition to the 56 already set up in Davao Oriental, according to architect Ching Segovia of the DepEd central office. She said each tent, worth P80,000, can accommodate up to 40 students. She said the DepEd wants to have the tents within 45 days.

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