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Schools worry over quake-damaged facilities a week before school year starts

Buildings and classrooms damaged by the July 27 earthquake were a problem for several schools a week before the opening of the school year, according to Marisol Abdurahman's Monday report on “24 Oras.”

In Quezon City, 34 classrooms at the Ismael Mathay Sr. High School would be unavailable for face-to-face classes after they were deemed unsafe for use.

A building in the school was also closed after city engineers placed it under a Yellow Category.

“Kami we're hopeful na sana mabigyan agad ng solution ng government,” said the high school's English Department head, Rex Arcadio San Diego.

(We're hopeful that the government will resolve this immediately.)

Despite the lack of facilities, classes at the Ismael Mathay Sr.  High School would begin as scheduled on August 22. It would remain under the blended learning system, however, with in-person classes to be held only once a week.

The city engineering office had inspected over 50 percent of the 150 schools in Quezon City.

Meanwhile, seven classrooms at the Tayum Central School in Abra could not be used as these were damaged by the July earthquake that hit northern Luzon.

“Sana po mas mapablis yung pag-ayos ng aming mga buildings. Yung learning, mas maganda sana kung conducive yung environment na pags-stayan,” Faith Tejero, a Kindergarten teacher, said.

(We hope the damaged buildings will be fixed immediately because the students would learn more in a conducive environment.)

There were similar situations in other provinces affected by the tremor, including the Magsingal North Central School in Ilocos Sur where 11 classrooms were damaged.

The Department of Education reported that over 1,000 schools were affected by the magnitude 7 quake. The DepEd had sought additional funding to address the problem. — Sundy Mae Locus/DVM, GMA News