School reopening in Cordillera on Aug. 22 to proceed despite earthquake
MANILA, Philippines — Schools in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will reopen on August 22 as scheduled despite the powerful magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Abra province and devastated parts of northern Luzon.
Department of Education-CAR (DepEd-CAR) director Estela Cariño said schools must follow the start date announced earlier by Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte.
Cariño said despite the worst-case scenario of totally damaged schools or teachers or students experiencing psychological trauma from the earthquake, DepEd cannot delay school reopening.
“So whether the school is totally damaged, teachers are not psychologically ready, some learners are not psychologically ready, we will have to start classes by August 22, 2022,” she told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.
Cariño appealed to parents and stakeholders “to understand the situation and help, so [they’ll] be able to still deliver quality education amid the effects of the earthquake.”
She also noted that psychosocial support will be available from August 15 to 19 for teachers and learners affected by the earthquake.
Meanwhile, Cariño outlined DepEd – CAR’s plans for several other situations in earthquake-hit schools:
In totally damaged schools with physically and emotionally ready teachers and learners, they will be implementing the hybrid learning modality — a mix of self-learning modules and online or offline modalities offered through their HyTEQ project.
On the other hand, schools with damaged but usable buildings were instructed to hold in-person classes, focusing on English, Science, and Math.
The face-to-face classes will be offered to schools with no damage or surplus classrooms or buildings.
“[Students] can be enrolled in other schools, but they will be having classes in another school,” Cariño added.
Duterte said around P1.4 billion is required to repair 451 classrooms destroyed in the recent earthquake in Abra. She added that repairing schools damaged by previous calamities like Typhoon Odette is ongoing.