DepEd fast-tracks building, repair of schools

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Sunday, May 18, 2014


THE Department of Education (DepEd) Central Visayas is racing against the clock to ensure that calamity-stricken schools in the region are prepared for the opening of classes next month.

With the annual observance of Brigada Eskwela today, DepEd officials are seeking the help of concerned groups who are willing assist in building and repairing classrooms before the opening of the new school year.

In a press conference, Dr. Carmelita Dulangon, DepEd 7 director, revealed that their head office is set to finance the construction of 400 classrooms in calamity-stricken areas in Northern Cebu and Bohol.

Last year, some classrooms in Northern Cebu were destroyed or damaged after towns there were struck by super typhoon Yolanda.

A month before Yolanda, schools in Bohol were hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Dulangon said their agency plans to source funds from its School Building Program.

Each classroom was pegged at P1.2 million, she said.

But Dulangon admitted that they are having difficulty in fast-tracking the building of classrooms, one of the reasons is going through the procurement standards set by the Commission on Audit (COA).

She said they are considering the design for the new classrooms, which should be disaster-resilient.

Bohol

In the case of Bohol, the DepEd will also see to it that the areas that were struck by the earthquake are still safe for construction.

Due to recurring aftershocks in Bohol, the DepEd is coordinating with local government units in looking for other areas where school houses can be safe.

However, they are glad that some private groups, like the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (Rafi), that are helping the DepEd in building and repairing schools in Northern Cebu.

Meanwhile, the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) has assisted the DepEd by building and repairing classrooms in Bantayan town, particularly in the Mambacayao islet.

At 9 a.m. today, DepEd 7 will focus its Brigada Eskwela activities in the towns in Bantayan Island.

Education Assistant Secretary Lorna Dino will be in the launching and caravan for Brigada Eskwela in the region.

Dulangon urged the parents of public school students to join today’s activities as a way to prepare schools for the opening of classes in June.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 19, 2014.

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