Teachers, students ‘need psycho-social aid’

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Saturday, December 28, 2013


THE United Nations (UN) sees the need to build temporary learning rooms in the storm-ravaged areas for the resumption of classes on Jan. 6.

“Greater psycho-social support for both teachers and students returning to school is required,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its latest situation report.

The Department of Education (DepEd) recently issued a memorandum on appropriate “education in emergencies” curricula to be used between January and March 2014.

Education Sec. Armin Luistro also directed public elementary and high schools to accept “emergency transferees” from areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

The DepEd order aims to encourage private schools to give special consideration to transferees in similar situations.

In its report, UN said updated data on schools being used as evacuation centers and better relocation strategies remain to be urgent priorities.

With the resumption of classes on Jan.6, the UN said more storm survivors will leave the evacuation centers in schools.

The National Government also prepares to transfer the displaced people from the evacuation centers to bunkhouses.

Humanitarian

Local and foreign humanitarian groups are working with the government to provide protection, health care and security to survivors.

The UN said its education cluster has established a back-to-learning task force led by UN Children’s Fund to help DepEd during the resumption of classes.

Back-to-school promotional activities were also held at the Child Friendly Space Children’s Festival in Tacloban City last Dec. 27.

Over the Christmas holidays, UN said humanitarian partners continued to provide assistance and early recovery activities.

“Emergency shelter provision and spontaneous self-recovery have been rapid, substantial and widespread compared to similar disaster responses elsewhere,” UN said.

It reported that the lack of construction supplies like roofing materials, hurricane straps, and coconut lumber constrained rehabilitation efforts.

The arrival of the 529-member Republic of Korea military contingent yesterday is expected to assist humanitarian operations through their logistical and engineering capacities.

About 5.6 million people in typhoon affected areas in the Visayas need food, the UN reported. They also need support to restore their agricultural and fishing livelihoods, it said.

As of Dec. 23, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has dispatched nearly 12,795 tons of food, including 12,504 tons of rice, 268 tons of high-energy biscuits and 22 tons of specialized nutrition products, and assisted nearly three million beneficiaries.

A total of US$538 million has been contributed to Yolanda response as of Dec. 26, according to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

Of the amount, some US$258 million was contributed for the Strategic Response Plan (SRP) for Yolanda.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 29, 2013.

Local news

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