By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Education Secretary Leonor Briones is set to visit teachers, learners and school affected by the unrest of Taal volcano, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday said.
Briones will be in Batangas to personally assess the situation of affected schools, teachers and learners. She is scheduled to meet with DepEd Region IV- A in Sta. Rita, Batangas. In the afternoon, she will hold a site visit Bauan Technical High School in Bauan, Batangas which is used as an evacuation center for the eruption imminent victims.
DepEd said that Briones has canceled her engagement on Education World Forum in London to visit the state of displaced learners and teachers affected by the hazardous eruption imminent of Taal Volcano.
She is scheduled to meet with the superintendents, principals of abandoned schools, Public Schools District Supervisors (PSDS), and Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) coordinators to “ensure the safety of the affected learners and teachers” in Batangas.
In its latest report, DepEd said that a total of 7, 094, 165 learners in 7, 542 schools are affected by the Taal’s volcanic eruption in 58 divisions under the National Capital Region (NCR), Region III, and Region IV-A and Region IV-B. Classes remain suspended in 16 divisions under Region IV-A which affects 1, 829, 249 learners in 2, 113 schools.
DepEd data shows that there are currently 167 schools in three divisions under Region IV-A which are being used as evacuation centers. A total of 1, 083 classrooms in these schools are housing 7,667 families or 36, 299 individuals – 9, 995 of which are learners.
The DepEd said that it will continue to monitor updates from DOST-PHIVOLCS, and will coordinate with affected regions and divisions; coordinate with Regions and Divisions on class suspensions, schools used as evacuation centers and other effects of the eruption; mobilize unaffected DepEd field offices and private sector to provide assistance to Region IV-A; and begin immediate deployment of response interventions (hygiene kits, learner’s kits, teacher’s kit, cleaning kits, clean-up funds, provision of Psychological First Aid and Alternative Delivery Modes) to affected areas; and ensure that all displaced learners who are nearby unaffected schools are “accepted even without credentials to ensure learning continuity.”