The true meaning of Christmas

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By Lorenzo E. Mendoza

The Scribe's Corner

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Director’s Cut: (This portion features the thoughts of DepED 11 Regional Director Gloria D. Benigno, CESO IV to all stakeholders and recipients of the efforts to improve the basic education) "I am your team leader, you are my team mates, together, let us work as a team”

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Officials from Deped headed by Secretary Armin A. Luistro and other socio-civic and international organizations doing humanitarian missions assembled at DepED 11 Waling Waling Conference Hall a few days before Christmas to mount concerted efforts to better address the plight of the victims (others want to use the word survivors) of supertyphoon Pablo especially the teachers and students.

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It was the second time for Sec. Luistro to preside a meeting in this hall but this time, aside from the host region led by Regional Director Gloria D. Benigno, key officials of Deped Caraga headed by Regional Director Alberto Escobarte were also invited to attend in order to come out with workable agreement to finally normalize the conduct of regular classes on January 3, 2013.

Luistro gave the regional directors and the schools division superintendents the go signal to assess the real situation in the field and come out with an alternative solution. He took into consideration those schools that are severely damaged which would take months or years to repair or rebuild.

The secretary also reported that a cabinet cluster meeting headed by Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras was convened to address the concerns brought by the devastation of Pablo to a number of regions in the country.

As of Friday, December 21, seven regions out of 17 are affected by Typhoon Pablo. These are Regions 4B, 8, 10, 11, Caraga and Armm.

In the meeting, the affected areas are further categorized as those who can handle the situation by themselves and those that need further assistance in terms of recovery and rehabilitation.

Luistro specified that the action plans to be done should be concentrated on the efforts to debrief teachers and students to ease out the trauma brought by the typhoon, identifying immediate and long term solutions to damaged classrooms and other structures and determining the capacity of each school to handle various concerns.

He announced that DPWH has already been given the task to rebuild destroyed classrooms, even using new technology to lessen the length of time to build the structures.

He also mentioned that there would be schools that would not be rebuilt anymore due to the hazard it would bring to the teachers and learners because of their locations.

Luistro told everybody to report to his office those concerns that need immediate action by the central office.

The DepED Chief emphasized that concerns about the evacuees and their conditions specifically the giving of relief goods and their well being should be reported to the DSWD and the Department of Health.

Secretary Luistro also distributed the cheques from Philippines' Response to Indigenous Peoples' and Muslim Education (PRIME) to be used as assistance to the affected PRIME Divisions (Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental).

In his parting words, Luistro challenged everyone to find the true meaning of Christmas in this difficult situation and said this might be the most memorable one.

He advised all the personnel and teachers in the affected regions to prepare themselves in all aspects so that by the resumption of classes on January 3, 2013, everybody will be meeting the learners with his/her biggest smiles and wide welcoming arms.

Despite of the devastation brought by Pablo, this corner wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year 2013.

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You can access DepED Updates, latest issuances, photos and other relevant information through our website: region11.deped.gov.ph and our Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/deped.regionxi. For comments, suggestions and/or contributions, send your email to depedregion11@gmail.com. For queries, complains and other concerns, call DepED Region 11 at (082) 227-9342 or fax to (082) 227-1102 and (082) 221-6147.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 31, 2012.

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