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With only 3 out of 54 public schools in Tacloban not ruined, schools may reopen in 2014


It may take awhile before some schools in Tacloban City may reopen due to the heavy damage the city sustained after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged the Philippines on November 8. 
 
“Resumption of classes, I think that would be difficult in the next week or two. Baka January na,” Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez said.
 
Only three out of 54 elementary and high schools in Tacloban City were not ruined after the typhoon hit, according to a report on GMA's News to Go on Tuesday.
 
At the San Jose Elementary School, most learning materials were either swept away or damaged due to the strong winds and storm surges.
 
The school also became an evacuation center where hundreds of families fled to after the storm.
 
Since the evacuees have nowhere to go, the classrooms could not be used by students.
 
“Halos ang isang room mga 10 to 15 families 'yung nakatira. It's so impossible pa na magkaroon ng klase. Kasi lahat ng mga rooms dito occupied. Kami nga, 'yung mga teachers dito, walang lugar,” said San Jose Elementary School principal Monina Gabrino.
 
‘Soft opening’
 
On Monday, some schools in Tacloban City that could still operate tried to conduct classes.
 
But since teaching materials were swept away or damaged by the storm, the classes served as stress debriefing sessions.
 
“Ito 'yung tinatawag nating 'soft opening' today pero ang purpose talaga is ma-account natin ang mga teachers. Nagkaroon na kami ng mga assessment sa lahat ng mga na-damage na school building,” explained Schools Division Superintendent Gordonio Diaz Jr.
 
But classes may start by next week in other Tacloban schools not used as evacuation centers.
 
Some students lined up to have their names listed as next week's class attendees as they expressed their excitement to go back to class even when lacking school materials.
 
The teachers on the other hand are requesting for a bonus to help them start anew after the typhoon destroyed their homes.
 
Diaz is hoping to get an allocation from the 2014 budget which they will use to rebuild schools before the next school year starts, the report said.
 
At least 5,680 died with 26,233 injured and 1,779 still missing, based on the latest figures of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
 
There are also an estimated 11 million people affected. Yolanda also caused damage estimated to be worth P34 billion.
 
Yolanda is the second super typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. It is also the world's strongest typhoon of 2013 and is ranked fourth in the world's list of strongest typhoons. —Andrei Medina/KG, GMA News
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