KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 09 November) — Classes are still suspended in at least 31 public schools here after city engineers and the building official found cracks on their beams, columns, and wall following a series of earthquakes last month, including four above Magnitude 6.
Seventeen of the 31 are elementary schools, and 14 are secondary schools.
But classes will resume on Monday in at least 42 schools, mostly elementary.
Records of the Kidapawan City Schools Division of the Department of Education (DepEd) said at least 23,840 students will be affected by the suspension of classes.
Mayor Joseph Evangelista said the city government is now constructing temporary learning shelters so classes could resume anytime.
The Kidapawan City Schools Division listed at least 128 temporary learning shelters to be built within school grounds, field, oval, and evacuation sites.
Evangelista said the two biggest schools in the city are among those whose classes are still suspended: the Kidapawan City National High School whose population is estimated at 8,000, and the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School (KCPES) with at least 4,000 pupils.
At KCPES, however, classes will resume on November 11 for Kinder and Grades 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The rest will have to wait for the completion of the construction of the temporary learning shelters.
Classes are also suspended in at least five schools for the indigenous peoples (IP) in the hinterlands, which include the Datu Ambas Manib IP School; Datu Sumin IP School, Datu Igwas Integrated IP School in Barangay Perez; Datu Umpan IP School in Barangay Balabag; and Lake Agko Integrated IP School in Barangay Ilomavis.
Kidapawan DepEd said the construction of temporary learning shelters is supported financially by the Tacurong City government, Banco de Oro Foundation, Eastwest Rural Bank, Sarangani Schools Division, Energy Development Corporation, Aboitiz Foundation, World Vision, and the Koronadal City government. (Malu Cadelina – Manar / MindaNews)