Classes still suspended in 3 Mindanao areas after strong quake — DepEd

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019   •   472

MANILA, Philippines – Classes for some 1.9 million students in three regions in Mindanao remain suspended after a strong earthquake jolted parts of the island on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Department of Education (DepEd) said Friday.

In a statement, DepEd said the magnitude 6.3 temblor affected around 3,873 schools with 1,989,260 learners from 17 divisions in Davao, Soccsksargen and Bangsamoro regions.

The tremor also damaged a total of 40 schools, based on DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service released on Friday.

The department said a date for the resumption of classes in the said areas has yet to be announced.

DepEd assured it will “facilitate the delivery of immediate assistance to ensure learning continuity.”

As of Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded more than 400 aftershocks ranging from 1.5 to 5.5 magnitude and intensity of I to VII since the strong quake.

The quake left five people dead and 89 others injured, according to an update posted by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

Briones: Report that ‘70,000 students in Bicol cannot read’, an exaggeration

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 17, 2020

Deped Secretary Leonor Briones

Department of Education (Deped) Secretary Leonor Briones said the Deped Bicol region report about 70,000 students that cannot read is an exaggeration.

Briones slammed the results of pretests administered by the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI).

“Tinawagan ko kanina ang regional director sa Bicol, ang sabi niya less than 5% lang. Hindi naman ganoon kadami. Medyo insulto iyon sa mga taga-Bicol (I called the regional director in Bicol, he said it’s only less than 5%. That is not a lot. That is an insult to the people of Bicol),” she said.

The Education Secretary also said there are numerous factors in determining the level of comprehension and level of understanding of a child.

Deped plans to release a more accurate report once they conducted a validation. Briones also said that Deped has a program to increase the reading literacy in the country.

She also advised the media to be careful in interpreting and reporting the Phil-IRI.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

LPA affecting Visayas, parts of Mindanao

Marje Pelayo   •   February 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA is monitoring a low-pressure area (LPA) near the southern island of Mindanao.

As of 4:00 a.m. Thursday (February 6), the weather system was located at 705 k.m. east of Davao City.

The trough of the LPA is currently bringing cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms in areas of Visayas, CARAGA, Northern Mindanao and the entire Davao Region.

Meanwhile, the Northeast Monsoon (Amihan) is seen affecting Luzon particularly Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Bicol Region, Aurora, and Quezon where cloudy skies with light rains can be observed.

Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers will prevail over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to Amihan.

Similar conditions will also be experienced in other areas of Mindanao due to localized thunderstorms.

DepEd suspends February national, regional events amid novel coronavirus threat

Robie de Guzman   •   February 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education(DepEd) announced it has postponed its national and regional events initially scheduled in February as part of its preventive measures amid the threat of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the decision is aimed at protecting teachers, students and their family members against the virus as school events often draw crowds from all regions.

In a separate advisory, DepEd said that among the suspended February events until an unspecified date are the National School Press Conference (NSPC) in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and the National Festival of Talents (NFOT) in Ilagan, Isabela.

Also postponed are events such as the National Science and Technology Fair (NSTF) to be held in Metro Manila, as well as regional athletic meets like the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association supposed to be held in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

The department, however, said that the Palarong Pambansa athletic meet, which is slated in May, will still push through.

DepEd also said that official travels of its personnel and learners for this month to countries with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV are revoked.

In a memorandum released Monday evening, the department also outlined the actions that schools should take to protect students and staff from the deadly virus.

These include the formation and activation of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) in DepEd regional offices and schools; a preventive alert system, and the strict compliance of preventive measures set by the Department of Health that aims to stem the spread of the virus in schools and other institutions.

It also urged school administrations to educate individuals on how to guard themselves against influenza and other seasonal diseases.

The Philippines has three confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV, with one death.

Chinese public health authorities on Wednesday reported the virus has killed 490 people with a total 24,324 confirmed cases.

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