DR. LUISA BAUTISTA-YU, education regional director in Eastern Visayas, has shared the innovations her agency had implemented after super typhoon Yolanda at the Asia Education Summit on Flexible Learning Strategies for Out-of-School Children in Bangkok, Thailand upon the invitation of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Preparedness for disasters is a multi-sectoral approach. Everybody must be prepared for any disaster,” said Yu, as she discussed on “Education in emergencies”.
“Yolanda left a massive devastation in our country especially in the education sector. It affected 1, 366 schools with 9, 420 partially damaged and 2, 172 totally damaged classrooms, affected 25, 975 teachers and employees and 676, 455 learners. About 30 teachers/employees and 530 pupils perished.
“And so with this, the delivery of basic educational support to children and teachers was challenged. With the depleted educational resources, children’s education was disrupted. The biggest challenged was to bring them back to school,” Yu said in her speech.
According to Jasmin Calzita, DepEd regional information officer who accompanied Yu in the summit, the DepEd director had shared on the strategies the region have developed and implemented to build back better after Yolanda hit Eastern Visayas in November 2013.
Yu’s topic was on Rebuilding Hope in Eastern Visayas, Calzita said.
Other speakers from Nepal and Japan who have made a recovery from natural disasters also spoke about “Education in emergencies”.
“The lessons of the past are truly great teachers. Having experienced one of the nature’s worst disasters taught DepEd Eastern Visayas to be even more resilient and adaptive to circumstances,” said Calzita, quoting Yu.
The 2016 UNESCO-Bangkok summit in collaboration with South East Asian Minsters of Education Organization (SEAMEO Innotech) and the Government of Thailand which ran from February 24 to 26 was organized to bring out best innovations from 30 Asian member states on 21st century education governance to solve the issue of children who are out of school
According to Calzita, Asia- Pacific countries have 18 million primary school age children who are out of school, with the Philippines having 1.5 million while Pakistan has the highest out of school in Asia Pacific with 5.4 million.
“We have made a significant progress in protecting our school children. And with the lessons we learned from Yolanda, we hope to inspire all educators around the world to never give up for the children,” Calzita said.