‘Nina’ leaves Albay classrooms roofless, muddied
LIBON, Albay—When students and teachers return to school in Albay province after the Christmas break, they would be holding classes in roofless, muddied classrooms.
Five days after Typhoon “Nina” (international name: Nock-ten) swept through the Bicol region, school officials in this town are in a quandary as many school buildings were either damaged or destroyed.
Melody Caboteja, a Grade 6 teacher at the Bonbon Elementary School here, said Nina blew off the roofs of their classrooms.
“Nothing was left. Even our teaching materials were blown by strong winds,” she said.
Caboteja said student records and other documents were lost to the typhoon.
Mayor Wilfredo Maronilla said: “With the bad condition of our schools, it is likely [teachers] will conduct classes in tents.”
The Office of Civil Defense in Bicol, in its partial report, placed the damage to schools in the region at P709 million.
It said officials from 3,827 schools in the region have reported damage from the typhoon.
The OCD said about 500,000 students in Camarines Sur province will hold classes inside damaged classrooms or in temporary learning spaces.
Ramon Fiel Abcede, regional director of the Department of Education, said classes will resume as scheduled on Jan. 3, even in provinces and cities hit by the typhoon, as directed by Education Secretary Leonor Briones.
Abcede said a cleanup drive and minor repairs were being undertaken in affected schools through the help of parents and volunteers.
In Polangui town, Emma Morasa, principal of the Polangui General Comprehensive High School, said school officials would ask the schools division superintendent to delay the class opening by a week because they needed time to clean the classrooms.
She said more than 2,000 newly delivered textbooks for senior high school students could no longer be used because these were destroyed when floodwater mixed with mud swamped the school. —MICHAEL B. JAUCIAN AND REY ANTHONY OSTRIA
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