Makandring Elementary School in Barangay Langogan, one of the most hard-hit areas in Puerto Princesa City. (Photo courtesy of DepEd Tayo - Puerto Princesa)

Preliminary data from the Schools Division Office (SDO) of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Palawan claimed Typhoon Odette caused P352 million in damage to school facilities and equipment.

Maylyn Dilig, SDO information officer of DepEd Palawan, said Friday that the amount was based on the initial assessment conducted by division engineers in towns affected by the typhoon.

She said that aside from the facilities, teachers were also affected by the typhoon.

“Sa ngayon ay nagva-validate sila at nag i-inventory ng damages. Nakaikot kami 2 weeks after ng bagyo, still ‘di pa talaga nakabangon ‘yong mga teachers, kahit gustuhin man bumalik sa schools marami po sa kanila ang affected,” she said.

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Dilig said that they are assessing if schools can continue modular and radio-based instruction (RBI) for the rest of the school year 2021-2022.

“‘Yon din po ang tintignan sa ngayon, part ng assessment ay recommendation kung itutuloy ang learning through modules and RBI, kasi sa ngayonn imposible. Kasama din ang mga ito sa nasira. Magre-recommend ang division sa regional office depende sa assessment ng teams na naka-deploy sa ngayon,” she said.

Currently, there are still no classes in schools affected by the typhoon because many were devastated.

However, there are districts, including Roxas, that already have their activities such as community kitchen and other psychosocial support activities.

“No classes pa rin, may mga districts like sa Roxas na mga activities sila like community kitchen sa mga learners, kasama din ‘yong mga palaro. Sa ibang mga districts suspended kasi maliban sa learners, maraming teachers din ang affected,” Dilig added.

As part of their assistance, Dilig said that they have handed financial assistance to the teachers and learners who are severely affected.

She said some donations are from other districts, SDOs in MIMAROPA and Central Office.

For the Puerto Princesa City DepEd SDO, information officer Gina Francisco said Friday that classes have already started on January 3 and conducted synchronized printing of modules.

Assistance was also requested from the regional and central offices.

“Open na tayo ng classes ng January 3 pa. Bahala ang mga school heads mag adjust sa situation. May assistance naman ang Division Office [at] synchronized printing na po kami ng modules, dito na po bayan ang printing,” Francisco said.

According to data from the City DepEd, 40 out of 87 inspected schools in Puerto Princesa City sustained major damage to infrastructure, while 32 out of 87 sustained only “slightly major” damage. The division currently has no estimate yet on the financial worth of damage.

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