THE Department of Education (DepEd) has reminded school officials across the country to prioritize the safety and well-being of students and pupils during typhoons, floods and other calamities.
And with the onset of the rainy season, when powerful typhoons and storms batter the Philippines, school authorities should not take for granted Education Secretary Leonor Briones’ reminder.
Briones said school heads and coordinators of DepEd’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Service “shall lead the preparations and implementation of precautionary measures.”
The education secretary said the precautionary measures are all aimed at mitigating the impacts of the rainy season in the country, which is visited by an average of 20 typhoons and storms annually.
It is public knowledge that some schools, public and private, in low-lying areas, including the Metropolitan Manila (MM) area, go under murky floodwaters even after a brief but heavy downpour.
At the same time, Briones, a former national treasurer, stressed that regarding the announcement of class suspensions due to inclement weather, the DepEd’s long-standing policy remains.
Under the policy, classes in affected areas are automatically suspended based on the Weather Bureau-declared storm signals.
“While local government units -- not DepEd -- decide on and announce class suspensions within their areas of jurisdiction during calamities in the absence of a storm signal,” according to Briones.
However, Briones was quick to call on parents to “practice their discretion” in determining if their children should go to school during typhoons, floods and other calamities.
Talagang nasa mga magulang na kung papapasukin nila o hindi ang kanilang mga anak kapag may kalamidad.