MORE than 4,000 schools in the Visayas region sustained heavy damage from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), according to the Department of Education (DepEd).
Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Tuesday said 4,485 schools in several provinces were destroyed by the super typhoon.
He said the hardest hit areas were the provinces of Palawan, Antique, Cadiz, Iloilo, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Samar, and the cities of Roxas, Bogo, Ormoc and Tacloban.
“Schools with major damage include Region 4-A [44 out of 71], Region 6 [300 out of 730], Region 7 [111 out of 327], and Region 8 [355 out of 1498].
Luistro also noted that 8 out of 499 [Region 4-A], 901 out of 5,466 [Region 6], 699 out of 3,093 [Region 7], 2,877 out of 13,033 [region 8]will need to be replaced.
“This means the rooms cannot be repaired anymore,” Luistro said.
The education department has urged school officials and teachers to resume classes as soon as possible even in makeshift classrooms to give their traumatized pupils a venue for their recovery.
DepEd Assistant Secretary Tonisito Umali said classes have not resumed in Leyte province, as well as in the municipalities of Basey and Marabut in Eastern Samar province, as well as in the municipalities of Guiuan, Mercedes, Balangkayan and Salcedo in Eastern Samar have not yet resumed operations.
“They are really devastated,” Umali said.
He said schools in Ormoc City are expected to open on December 2.
Classes In Palawan, Cebu, and Bago City resumed last week.
Neil A. Alcober