MANILA, Philippines – The Children’s Rights Group responding to victims of super-typhoon Roly has warned that learning could be further curtailed as a result of the calamities hitting the country as it struggles with a raging pandemic
Roly (international name Goni) has displaced more than 2 million people in eight regions, with disaster officials now putting the cost of its damage at P128 billion so far
The impact of the hurricane has resulted in 82,000 people taking refuge in public schools with the education of nearly 15,000 affected children, according to figures released by the Ministry of Education. Many areas are preparing again for a new hurricane attack, « Ulysses », with tropical cyclone winds indicating No 3 raised In different counties she is still reeling from Rowley
The Educo Philippines NGO said that distance learning for students in these areas is now « back to zero », with units and school supplies lost. DepEd also reports that 182 schools in Bicol have been affected, along with 6,251 learning resources. Plus 130 computers
But what is more, according to the cluster country director, children in these cyclone-struck areas lose interest in continuing education, based on the psychosocial sessions they provide to the victims
“Some children told us that they became less interested in going back to school due to loss of materials and due to the current economic situation of their families, many of them lost their homes and properties,” Olga Rodriguez said in an exchange with Philstar.com
The sessions, apart from the relief supplies initially distributed by Educo, include children discussing their experience of the super-tornado as well as their fears after it is attacked. Parents are also helped to help their children continue learning despite staying in evacuation centers
In the Bicol region, which has suffered the most damage, there are about 2,971 students and their families in public schools being used as temporary shelters, bringing the total to 44,000 people
Rodriguez said the expected fall of Ulysses will further affect the well-being of schoolchildren, especially those who live in devastated communities. « The group was ready to distribute more relief packages to more than 500 families in Catanduanes but has since been stopped due to the new cyclone threat. »
The Educo Foundation also stated that officials are struggling to find other areas for families to stay in due to not having enough school buildings to accommodate them, along with a warning that a lack of shelters could put them at risk for COVID- 19, among other things
Rodriguez said: “This can pose a risk to children, especially COVID-19, especially since evacuation centers are usually cramped or have limited toilets or washing areas.” “Since yesterday, local officials identified alternative safe places to reduce the risk of spread COVID-19 among people evacuated from the typhoon «
She added that from initial conversations with DepEd, the agency is seeking assistance in rebuilding schools, as well as school supplies and more psychosocial sessions.
“We know from experience that there are risks if children stay for too long in evacuation centers, such as feeling lazy, feeling uncomfortable in unfamiliar places, and an increased risk of abuse and exploitation,” Rodriguez said.
Educo, a global non-governmental organization that started its efforts in the Philippines in 2005, is raising funds for learning and teaching materials, including training for both teachers and students in disaster risk reduction as well as climate change adaptation
Super Typhoon Rolly is considered the strongest storm in the world in 2020 and the nineteenth storm to hit the Philippines this year. Its situation has raised fears of an accident similar to that which occurred in Yolanda (international name Haiyan) in 2013, where thousands died and reached Total damage is 93 billion pesos
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Tropical Cyclone, Philippines, Hurricane, Storm
World News – California – Child Rights Group fears storms and epidemics impede learning in hurricane-hit areas
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