Schools shouldn’t be used as evacuation centers anymore – DepEd
School buildings should no longer be used as evacuation centers to avoid the disruption of classes, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones said Monday.
Briones noted that no less than President Rodrigo Duterte has spoken about a policy that a school building should not be used as evacuation centers except in extreme cases when an area does not have structures that are capable to weather storms such as gyms or multi-purpose centers.
“I have brought up in the Cabinet and the President has enunciated a policy that a school building should not be used anymore as evacuation centers because the children give up their homes, in a manner of speaking, that are sturdy and then they have to put up with temporary learning centers like tents and so on and they are exposed to all sorts of risks including harassment,” Briones said in an interview with ANC.
Briones also said it takes time before classes can resume after disasters strike when schools were used as evacuation centers because the DepEd has to conduct cleaning and repairs first.
“It’s not as if after the tragedy the children automatically go back to the classrooms. You have to do a lot of cleaning up and repairs; the chairs, the facilities lahat-lahat (everything) because different kinds of people are using the school,” she said.
The DepEd chief then emphasized that school buildings are not really built for evacuation which makes it difficult for the government to conduct repairs and maintenance when natural disasters strike. /kga