GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 June) — The Department of Education (DepEd) in Region 12 has alerted schools situated in flood-prone areas as the continuing rainy season was seen to even intensify in the coming weeks.
Dr. Allan Farnazo, DepEd Region 12 director, said Friday they directed several schools in the region that experienced heavy flooding in the past years to set the necessary preparations and adopt some precautionary measures.
He specifically cited schools located in Cotabato City, Lambayong town in Sultan Kudarat and portions of the seven coastal towns of Sarangani.
The official said a number of schools in these areas were forced to suspend classes during the rainy season in the last several years due to heavy flooding.
Last week, he said two schools in Maitum and Kiamba towns in Sarangani were forced to suspend their classes for two days after being hit by flashfloods.
He said they immediately ordered officials of the affected schools to implement remedial classes for the missed school days.
“There were some schools in Lambayong and Cotabato City that also experienced some flooding but none so far has declared any suspension of classes,” Farnazo said.
Parts of the region have been experiencing almost daily rains in the past weeks due to the onset of the rainy season and the effects of several weather disturbances.
Region 12, which is also known as Soccsksargen, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
Farnazo said he directed officials of schools located in areas vulnerable to floods and other weather-related disturbances to properly prepare their students and always prioritize their safety.
He ordered the conduct of regular inspections on classrooms and other related school structures as well as make sure that they are intact and secure.
Meantime, the official said they have not recorded any suspension of classes or related disruptions as a result of the recent armed conflicts in parts of the municipalities of Kabacan, Carmen and Matalam.
He there were some encounters that ensued near school zones but they did not affect the regular classes.
In September last year, classes were disrupted for several days at the Malingao Elementary School in Barangay Malingao in Midsayap, North Cotabato following an attack staged by members of the breakaway Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
The group held hostage nine teachers who were trapped in the school campus during the incident but later freed them.
“We’re grateful that our schools were spared this time and we’re hoping that this will continue and none of the past incidents will happen again,” he added. (MindaNews)