by Domingo B. Natividad V
Manila - “Incorporate disaster preparedness in your daily lessons.” So said Corazon L. Echano, consultant to the education department, as she urged some 180 public high school teachers of 16 division offices in the National Capital Region to be more resourceful in making their students prepared for disasters and calamities amidst the changing climate.
Echano served as the mediator of the morning activity of the two-day trainers’ training for high school public teachers on disaster risk reduction and climate change at the DepEd’s Bulwagan ng Karunungan, in Pasig City.
She said lessons in Science I and Araling Panlipunan I are platforms for teachers to discuss information that can make students learn on what to do before, during, and after natural and man-made calamities. “Huwag na tayong mag-action planning, idiretso niyo na sa mga lessons niyo (Instead of getting into action planning, inject it rather in your school lessons),” she said.
Her practical idea received raves from participants approving it. Educators present had likewise showed eagerness to echo the lessons they are got from the training, saying all information on disaster preparedness are important in keeping their students from harm’s way.
After the training, the participants would serve as trainers of other teachers in their respective school divisions. On Friday, DepEd will demonstrate the integration of effective strategies and techniques on disaster risk reduction into Science I and Araling Panlipunan I lessons at the Sta. Lucia High School in Santa Lucia, Pasig.
In the same training, Candy De Juan, a senior education program specialist, presented DepEd’s role in the implementation of the Philippine Disaster Management System (PDMS). De Juan said DepEd is a major player in keeping the populace in Metro Manila safe, particularly the school children.
The department is a member of the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council's (NDRRMC) technical management committee, the highest policy-making on disaster risk management under the PDMS.
It is also a recommendatory body to NDRRMC’s activities and tasked to act on weather conditions that may affect school children’s classes. During calamities, public schools provide refuge to displaced families, serving as evacuation centers.
As part of its disaster risk reduction measures, De Juan said DepEd is committed to building hazard-resilient school buildings under its safe schools project.
She told educators that in constructing safe schools, they should be wary of the “specification of materials needed” to avoid getting fooled by certain construction contractors.
The G-Watch project
De Juan also revealed that DepEd is a partner of Ateneo University in its G-Watch project. A project of the Ateneo School of Government, it tracks public expenditure and monitors government program implementation.
In fact, since it started in 2000, the project has been monitoring textbook delivery, school building construction, medicines procurement, public works, disaster relief distribution, and auction of seized goods in government.
In its recent study, G-Watch found out that only 10 of 23 school buildings constructed by the public works and highways department for DepEd since 2007 were built in good quality.
It also reported that schoolbuilding plans, standards, and specifications were not often followed. It likewise noticed that political interference in building contractor selection and work programming adversely affected the output.
In an interview with PIA-NCR, De Juan said “defects found in 13 other school buildings were rectified.” The 10 quality-built schools, meanwhile, was reported as “a function of the degree of supervision and contract administration.” (PIA-NCR, domingo b. natividad v)
Tag This Document