MANILA, Philippines – Education Secretary Armin Luistro has
reiterated the advisory to be used as a guide by the public and local
decision makers regarding the suspension of classes during typhoons.
“We have existing policies that allow DepEd (Department of Education)
officials and local government executives to suspend classes at their
level. This will avoid leaving our children on the streets when heavy
rains and strong winds hit certain areas,” Luistro said.
DepEd Order no. 28 series of 2005 states that if signal No. 1 is
raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical
Services Administration (PAGASA), classes in pre-school are
automatically suspended in the affected areas. If signal No. 2 is
raised, classes from pre-school, elementary and high school are
In the absence of storm signals, localized suspension is allowed by
the order. The decision may be made by the school principal, division
superintendent or local government executive. But the final decision to
let the child go to school or not is with the parents, Luistro stressed.
“Local suspension and parental decision are allowed since parents and
officials on the ground have a better idea about the situation in their
areas,” Luistro said.
Meantime, school heads are being asked to prepare for the coming
storms, three of which are expected to enter the country this month
DepEd School Engineering Chief Oliver Hernandez said they have
engineers and physical facilities coordinators at the regional and
division levels who monitor the state of schools.
Funds for the repair, rehabilitation, and replacement of
typhoon-ravaged school buildings are immediately being requested if the
“It is particularly difficult to move a school site in areas where
the whole city or municipality is flood prone. Our personnel and those
from the LGU (local government unit) instead look for means to ensure
immediate resumption of classes in the event of class disruption,"
During times of calamities not only brought by typhoons but also by
other natural causes such as volcanic activities and earthquakes, public
schools are used as evacuation centers.
One scheme that DepEd is implementing is that evacuees leave the
classrooms during the day so classes can be conducted. They return after
classes end in the afternoon.
Children of evacuees who are from another school may attend classes
in their host school as long as the teacher is informed.
The child’s attendance is recorded in the host school and forwarded
to his own school once they are allowed to return home.
“We cannot let disruption of classes last long and we must resume
classes as soon as we can,” Luistro said.
Source: philStar, Dennis Carcamo, 8-16-2010