AN association of catholic schools is appealing to its member schools to help out in the rehabilitation of 20 schools in the Yolanda-devastated Tacloban City and Samar province.
Doris Ferrer, executive director of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), said they are raising funds for the rehabilitation of its member schools in Tacloban City and in the province of Samar which were wrought by super typhoon Yolanda [international name: Haiyan]– one of the strongest typhoons in history recorded.
“We [at CEAP]would like to ask our member schools to help in the rehabilitation of the school community affected by Yolanda,” Ferrer said on Monday during the general assembly of the country’s private educational institutions organized by the Philippine Association of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities (Papscu).
“CEAP is actually already started the ‘Solidarity Fund Yolanda.’ We earmarked P1 million for this because we think that we should help as an institution. We are very happy with the relief operations with the government and other agencies for the people in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Aklan, and Iloilo. We are helping schools that are severely damaged by the typhoon,” Ferrer added.
Ferrer said the Benedictine-run St. Scholastica’s College-Tacloban was also destroyed by the super typhoon.
“The St. Scholastica’s College-Tacloban really is hard hit. I spoke to the president of St. Scholastica’s College-Manila and she said the new Tacloban campus will be built in the high ground. This is really life-changing. We would like to help out in the rehabilitation of the school communities from these provinces,” she added.
Ferrer said the Benedictine-run school in Tacloban City have set up a number of makeshift classrooms so that their graduating students can finish their courses by March next year.
“But as for the other plans, we are meeting with them [St. Scholastica’s College-Tacloban] on December 3. We have also invited funders, specifically private donors, who will help us to raise funds for the Yolanda victims,” she said.
Ferrer also noted that CEAP will extend assistance not only to the students who were affected by the super typhoon but the entire school communities.
“This is not just about reconstructing of a new school building but a rehabilitation of the entire school communities. So we leave it to the discretion of the school heads on how to extend assistance to the stakeholders affected by Yolanda,” she said.
The CEAP also assured the public that its doors are widely open to accept student transferees from the typhoon-hit areas.
“We should all exercise maximum leniency for these students. As I monitored, there are students from the typhoon-devastated areas who already transferred to other private schools in Manila. These are the students, I think, who are well-off. The ones who can afford to pay tuition in the private school,” Ferrer said.
“We [at CEAP]have to be very generous toward these people because they are displaced and we also realized probably, well of course, they are economically affected by the typhoon. We will accept transferees,” she added.
Earlier, the Department of Education (DepEd) has urged both private and public schools to accept students from affected areas who transferred to areas like Cebu and Metro Manila and other areas, with sufficient or no records.
DepEd said it can sort out students’ records later when school operations in Eastern Visayas and other affected areas have normalized.
For its part, the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) has ordered its regional and provincial offices, including higher education institutions, to extend assistance to the affected students.
CHEd said schools should accept, for humanitarian reasons, all the affected student enrollees and transferees who are unable to present proper academic records due to disruption of school operations pending the resumption of their regular operations and proper processing of documents. NEIL A. ALCOBER