ZAMBOANGA CITY – Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC says the Department of Education (DepEd) will be ready to resume classes but wants to focus on assessing schools and students first. “We are currently preparing, with our division personnel, principals, and teachers to be ready for school opening as soon as the Crisis Management Committee declares it safe to do so. Based on our assessment 80% of public schools can resume classes.”
Out of 205 public schools (including annexes), 13 schools are being used as evacuation centers. According to DepEd division officials, 167 schools can already resume classes next week as long as they are given 24 hours’ notice by the Crisis Management Committee.
“We want a return to normalcy but after an ordeal like this, students and teachers need psychosocial intervention and debriefing,” explained Luistro. “On the first day back teachers need to do a headcount of their students first and assess if intervention is needed. The following days should also be devoted to planning by the principals to organize make-up classes. There will be no regular lessons yet.”
Undersecretary for Regional Operations Rizalino Rivera believes the organization is ready to resume with a day’s notice “We have 253 personnel trained on psychosocial intervention just last month. However, 53 of them were directly affected so we need to debrief them first. We’ll also tap volunteers from other regions to assist.”
Rivera adds that the DepEd will also set up temporary learning spaces in non-school evacuation centers. An estimated 12,000 students will need to undergo Alternative Delivery Modes (ADM) or non-traditional means of learning for the next three months because their schools have been affected by the crisis.
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