Back to (no) schools

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014


SOME 20.9 million students Monday returned to public preschool, elementary and high schools all over the country.

They were greeted with the same chronic problems of lack of classrooms, chairs, books and teachers.

It’s back to school folks. It’s back to all the same problems brilliant education officials thought could be solved by letting students stay longer in schools by adding two more years to basic education under K plus 12.

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Tens of thousands of students in Capiz, Aklan, northern Antique, northern Iloilo, northern Negros Occidental, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran and northern Cebu held classes in makeshift classrooms and tents.

It’s nearly seven months after super typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) devastated these areas, but their schools have yet to be built.

It’s back to no schools for students in these areas.

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Education Secretary Armin Luistro said no pupil in the typhoon-devastated region would
attend classes under a mango tree.

Secretary Luistro was dead right.

See, super typhoon Yolanda, the strongest typhoon in recorded history, also toppled down the mango trees.

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Without schools and even mango trees, where would classes be held?

Secretary Luistro said there would be “temporary learning spaces,” either tents or temporary structures made of wood and corrugated sheets.

He said the cyclone disaster had brought out the “innovativeness” of teachers to ensure the quality of education was maintained while a permanent solution was being worked out.

It seems the lack of classrooms has become the mother of innovation.

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Education and public works officials said it will take time to rebuild schools which should be typhoon-resilient.

The national government approved on Friday a P105-billion allocation for the rehabilitation of Yolanda-hit areas. that includes money for building schools.

But the classes must go on, even without schools.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 04, 2014.

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