The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday dismissed calls for an “academic freeze” in the wake of successive typhoons that hit the country and instead said it has started implementing “academic ease” measures to assist teachers and students who bore the brunt of the devastation.
“Hindi na po siguro mangyayari ito (This is unlikely to happen),” DepEd Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said in a Teleradyo interview.
“Wala nagka-academic freeze dahil palagay po namin ito ang tamang polisiya, ang magpatuloy. At nakikita po natin with the latest issuance ay maging flexible na lang tayo,” he said. (There will be no academic freeze because we think this is the right policy—we continue. And we can see with the latest issuance is that we have to be flexible.)
Under the agency’s academic ease, Umali said students are given flexible time to submit their requirements in schools.
Some schools and universities have initiated the suspension of classes to address concerns brought about by the succession of typhoons that left devastation in parts of the country.
The DepEd reported there were 1,190 schools nationwide that incurred damages due to the series of typhoons as of November 15.
Most of the damaged schools were from the Bicol region, with 428 schools, Umali said. This was followed by Central Luzon with 412, and Calabarzon with 121.
Some 91 schools in Cagayan Valley, 53 in the Ilocos region, 41 in the Cordillera Administrative Region, 15 in Mimaropa, and nine schools in Metro Manila, were also destroyed.
Umali said that a total of 430 schools with 14,844 classrooms are now serving as evacuation centers for 1,935 displaced families.