By Alexander Villafania
CAGAYAN DE ORO, MISAMIS ORIENTAL – In an effort to put normalcy in cities devastated by the Typhoon “Sendong” last month, the Department of Education (DepEd) will conduct an alternative classes for students in these areas.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that apart from traditional lessons, some schools will be focusing on stress debriefing and play therapy in affected areas. This would help children traumatized by the natural calamities to recover from their ordeal.
The agency is also being assisted by local government units, non-government organizations, police and military personnel, and parents in cleaning up school facilities that were used as temporary evacuation centers.
Meanwhile, the Cagayan de Oro parish church and the Xavier University have offered their facilities as temporary relocation sites where public elementary schools affected by Sendong could continue their lessons.
“We have to respond to the immediate needs of both teachers and students and for now, it is important that we introduce activities that will bring back normalcy in their lives,” Luistro said.
The agency will also be identifying school facilities that have been used as evacuation centers in order to set up some approaches in delivering alternative education. To deliver their lessons, school heads may use alternate facilities such as tents provided by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Plan International, and Save the Children.
As of January 2, 2012, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that at least 1,200 died from the flash floods brought about by Sendong.
Many of those who died lived in houses beside the Cagayan De Oro River. Another 85 were reported missing. The typhoon also wrought damages reaching at least P1.4 billion.
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