DepEd to LGUs: Avoid using schools as evac centers

MANILA -- Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Friday called on local governments to spare schools from being used as evacuation centers during calamities.

"Panahon pa ng Mayon, sinasabi na namin na sana iwasan na ang paggamit ng school buildings as evacuation centers para hindi ma-interrupt ang classes. Kailangan makapaghanap sila ng lugar kung saan makapagpatayo ng temporary learning shelters gaya ng sa Marawi (Even during the Mayon eruption, we said the use of school buildings as evacuation centers must be avoided so that classes won't be interrupted. They must find a place where temporary learning shelters can be put up, just like in Marawi)," Briones told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the “Duterte Legacy” campaign in Pasay City.

Since last weekend's eruption of the Taal Volcano, classes have remained suspended in the provinces of Cavite and Batangas, and some parts of Laguna.

Meanwhile, Metro Manila and some local government units in Central Luzon suspended classes on Monday and Tuesday as ashfall from the volcano reached these areas.

"Wala silang pasok ngayon, may gap (The learners don't have classes, there is a gap). This is why we're trying to solve the problem of the learners whose classes have been suspended by negotiating with the local governments. Batangas alone has more than 120 schools, 168 schools for the entire region, including six private schools," Briones said.

According to the Department of Education's latest report, about 7,895 schools in 58 divisions with 7,228,468 learners have been affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

To complete the school calendar days, learners affected by natural disasters usually attend extended class hours, have classes during holidays and weekends, and adapt to alternative ways of learning.