Quantcast
Latest Stories

Teachers face tough task of luring back children to schools in typhoon-hit areas

By

Children sit on improvised chairs as they wait for relief goods in New Bataan, Compostela province on Dec. 12, 2012 nearly one week after the southern part of the Philippines was hit by Typhoon Pablo (Bopha.) As schools open on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, teachers are faced with the tough challenge on how to lure back students still coping with the devastation brought by Pablo. AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley—As schools here open on Monday, a week behind schedule, teachers are faced with the tough challenge on how to lure back students still coping with the devastation brought by typhoon Pablo.

Thousands of schoolchildren are supposed to troop to different public elementary and secondary schools in 16 villages here but school officials said the turnout may not reach 100 percent.

“We are having a problem of winning them back,” Marcelino de los Reyes, district coordinating principal in New Bataan schools said. “The children are still scared, their interest (in school) could be waning.”

The Department of Education ordered the reopening of schools in typhoon-hit Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces last Jan. 3, barely a month after schools were shuttered following the destruction wrought by Pablo to these areas.

Schools in all typhoon-ravaged areas have opened their doors to students as scheduled—with Education Secretary Armin Luistro himself visiting schools in Davao Oriental—except in New Bataan.

Continuous rains due to tropical depression “Auring” prompted the local government to suspend classes by two days, as hundreds of New Bataan residents again evacuated to schools, some of them still occupied by those displaced during the Dec. 4 calamity.

Mayor Lorenzo Balbin Jr. said classes might be suspended yet again on Monday “in case the weather warrants.”

“We have learned a harsh lesson already. We don’t want it to happen again,” said Balbin of the Dec. 4 deluge.

Delos Reyes said strong wind and a flashflood spawned by ‘Pablo’ destroyed or damaged practically all of the schools in his municipality.

In the hardest-hit village of Andap for instance, only one of the 15 classrooms of the village elementary school is left standing. At least 37 school children there were killed and over 100 are still missing, according to De los Reyes, citing figures from Andap school authorities.

He said 11 students also died in Cabinuangan while about 50 others are still unaccounted for. Two teachers in this town also lost their lives due to the typhoon.

“The toll on education (caused by the typhoon) was really high,” said Sarah Jane Loney, a district school staff. “What was once a paradise for school children is now a wasteland.”

During her visit here last Thursday, Education Undersecretary Yolanda Quijano pledged the setting up of learning tents that could serve as temporary classrooms.

The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) has donated learning tents in the two provinces, at least four of which in New Bataan.

Quijano said children’s education has suffered for too much already as a result of the calamity.

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

Nenita Lumaad, Compostela Valley schools division officer-in-charge, said specialized learning modules would be used and psychosocial interaction activities would be employed by teachers as a form of stress debriefing to children.

Despite the tough challenge ahead, the school authorities are undaunted.

De los Reyes, the district school chief, plans to give away free school supplies to the children out of his office’s P38,000 monthly maintenance and other operating expense (MOOE) kitty.

Other entities, such as representatives from an Indonesian organization also donated notebooks, pens and other school supplies to at least 2,000 pupils at Cabinuangan Central Elementary School.

“Yes, these are not enough, but it’s just a start,” De los Reyes said.

Amid these challenges, a handful of children were looking forward to going to school again—after a long and somehow, painful vacation.

Jomar Ray Pagsak, a Grade 3 pupil from Cabinuangan village, said he missed his classmates and teachers so he wanted to go to school again.

Pagsak and several other school children had reported to school on Thursday but were sent home after school officials ordered suspension of classes.

“I want to report to class, to see my classmates and friends again,” the 9-year old boy told the Inquirer.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More Philippine Weather News

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bopha , Children , cyclones , Education , Pablo , Philippines - Regions , public schools , Rehabilitation , relief , rescue , Schools , Teachers , typhoons , Weather




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Cagayan mayor shot dead after flag-raising ceremony
  3. Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  6. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  7. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  8. Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  9. New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  10. More bodies from ship; transcript reveals wavering
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  • Group: Bataan cop killed to stop him from exposing colleagues linked to drug ring
  • Chemical Engineer licensure examination
  • Troubled history fuels Japan-China tension
  • Palace: Our concern is to ensure MRT runs smoothly
  • Sports

  • NLEX fights off Derulo Accelero to remain unbeaten
  • Mayweather diehard Bieber eats pride, poses with Pacquiao for photo op
  • Power Pinays rip Singapore to enter quarters in Asian volley tilt
  • PBA D-League: Waves edge skidding Superchargers
  • Ilad’s last-second basket lifts Gems over Bakers
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention
  • Lindsay Lohan says she had a miscarriage
  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Business

  • Century Pacific Food sets IPO price at P13.75 per share
  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Balikatan could spoil peace talks, says militant group
  • DFA officers hold workshop on aiding human traffic victims
  • Canada in communication with PH on toxic wastes
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement