UNICEF welcomes the return of in-person classes in areas affected by “Odette”

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MANILA – Children in schools affected by Typhoon Odette will return to school in person, two years after the Covid-19 pandemic and super typhoon destroyed many of their school supplies and classrooms.

The Department of Education (DepEd) earlier said some 4,000 schools had resumed in-person classes after 39 areas, including the National Capital Region, were placed under the Covid-19 alert level on lower.

About 34 schools in Maasin City in southern Leyte resumed face-to-face classes while 51 schools in Caraga and 187 schools in Central Visayas also taught students in their classrooms.

UNICEF has welcomed the expansion of in-person learning in the Philippines, especially in areas devastated by “Odette”.

He also commended DepEd for its efforts to prioritize learner safety when schools reopen, saying providing children with access to education and learning is essential for communities to gradually recover. .

“We are happy to welcome children back to school to continue learning, playing with their classmates and seeing their teachers. Many children told us that they miss being in school and learning new things. We commend all local school and government officials, parents and community members who continue to support children’s right to learn in the Philippines,” said Isy Faingold, Education Officer at UNICEF Philippines on Tuesday. , in a press release.

UNICEF has long advocated for children to return to in-person learning to prevent further learning loss.

As co-lead of the Education Cluster, UNICEF has so far provided school and education supplies and services in areas affected by Typhoon Odette, benefiting 13,891 learners and teachers, while 91 Early Childhood Development Kits will serve 2,730 children and benefit 48 temporary learning spaces. 2,400 people.

UNICEF will continue to train approximately 100 disaster risk reduction coordinators in education in emergencies.

UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Schools program targets 44 schools in Caraga and southern Leyte with assistance for small-scale repair of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities . The facilities will be supplemented with hygiene starter kits and cleaning and disinfection supplies.

It continues to call for sustained action to restore education in the affected areas after more than 12,000 classrooms were partially damaged, while 6,000 classrooms were totally damaged and more than 28 million materials pedagogical were destroyed because of Typhoon Odette.

According to the DepEd, some 6,213 schools out of 47,668 public schools are ready for the expansion phase of resuming in-person learning.

About 2.2 million Filipino children between the ages of 3 and 4 have not attended daycare since March 2020. Young children need cognitive stimulation and social-emotional development as well as socialization skills and adequate school readiness.

To ensure that children’s right to education will be upheld amid the pandemic and the process of recovering schools and communities affected by Typhoon Odette, UNICEF is calling for nationwide expansion from in-person classes, including daycare, to allocating budgets for a safe reopening, improving access to open spaces for play and socializing, and implementing efforts to address student learning loss.

UNICEF is supporting the safe reopening of more schools in the Philippines by providing technical assistance through guidelines and standard operating procedures for the safe reopening of schools, helping children from Bangsamoro to resume in-person learning, supporting local governments and providing schools with WASH (with adequate water, sanitation and hygiene facilities). (PR)

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