Schools told: Accept students affected by Yolanda ASAP

Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro urges schools not to be strict with documentary requirements for student transferees

'NEVER GIVE UP.' Filipino families await evacuation in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Photo by Nic Bothma/EPA

MANILA, Philippines – In Tacloban City and other areas badly hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), families either stay, hoping for a better situation, or leave to escape the nightmare.

For children who had to leave their hometowns, they don’t have to stop schooling, the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

In a press conference Friday, November 15, Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro said he had already directed public schools all over the country to accept “emergency transferees” coming from Yolanda-stricken schools.

“Normally, transferees would have to present their school records, but in this case, I have directed public schools to accept them immediately. We can sort out their records later, when operations in Eastern Visayas and other affected areas have normalized,” he said.

He also urged schools not to be strict with documentary requirements for student transferees, to take note of their special needs, and to provide them special attention.

“My advice [for] schools before bringing them straight to the classrooms [is to] determine their needs, the circumstances of their transfer and provide them with psychosocial help. Because [they’re] unlike students who will go back to the schools in Yolanda-affected areas [who] we will have a [debriefing] program [for].”

Concentration

Transferees are expected to be concentrated in nearby Cebu and Legazpi, and dispersed in Metro Manila.

The department will release an order about this on Monday, November 18, encouraging even private schools to “give special consideration to transferees in similar situations.”

A similar memorandum was released Wednesday by the University of the Philippines (UP) urging other UP campuses to accommodate students from UP Visayas-Tacloban College (UPVTC) so they can continue studying in the second semester. (READ: UP offers cross-enrollment for Tacloban campus students

Next Friday, November 22, DepEd will also release a more comprehensive assessment of the damage they incurred after Typhoon Yolanda. (READ: Yolanda damaged 90% of school infra in Tacloban – Luistro)

Based on the data, they will come up with a budget for a rehabilitation plan which, according to Luistro, may include a school-based feeding program for 30 days or more once schools reopen.

Currently, debriefing is ongoing for school officials and teachers already accounted for. The department also called for volunteers who will administer psychosocial intervention and stress debriefing for students and teachers. – Rappler.com

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