DepEd-Cordillera seeks help in rebuilding fire-hit school in Benguet

DepEd-Cordillera seeks help in rebuilding fire-hit school in Benguet

BAGUIO CITY — The Department of Education (DepEd)-Cordillera is asking kind-hearted individuals or organizations to help in rebuilding the Indaoac Elementary School in Tuba, Benguet or at least provide temporary classrooms for its students, ahead of the opening of classes in public schools on June 3.

The school was burned down to ashes on the evening of May 1.

Georaloy Palao-ay, of the DepEd Cordillera Public Affairs division, said they have relayed the matter to the national office in Manila.

“Ang pwedeng gawin (What they can do), they can seek the help of the barangays (if ever temporary classroom can be provided by barangays). If they can use the barangay halls or portions of a house of good-hearted citizens as classrooms as temporary solution,” Palao-ay said in an interview.

“Right now, there is an immediacy of the need to have even temporary classrooms, we are calling on the community to help,” he said.

Palao-ay shared that just like what the people of Kalinga did when the school was washed out during typhoon ‘Rosita’ October last year, “the community there on their own way, helped each other to put up a temporary learning center”.

He said that the Benguet division of the DepEd had asked help from the UNICEF to borrow the big tents they lent to schools in the province after Typhoon “Ompong” in September last year.

He said that it will take time for new structures to be programmed under the DepEd.

School head appeals for help

The Philippine Information Agency, in an advisory, issued the appeal for help of Henry Tinaza, head teacher of the school.

In the Ilocano dialect, he said “please help us, the children have nothing to use for their schooling when classes start on June 3”.

Tinaza said that the school immediately needs construction materials to rebuild their school which is being used by more than 60 students and at least four teachers who are in-charge of the multi-grade level applied in the school.

The school’s sole unburned building, a small structure which serves as storage and canteen, cannot accommodate the students during school days.

Initial report of the Tuba Fire station shows that the fire at the Indaoac Elementary School in Sitio Indaoac in Tabaan Sur started at the Principal’s room that spread to the adjacent rooms including the Kindergarten Room, the classroom of Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3 and 4, Grades 5 and 6 and the home economics room.

The BFP estimated the damage at PHP5 million.

The school had been serving as a polling precinct in the past election, and would have served again for the May 13 polls had it not been burned two weeks prior to the election.  Liza Agoot / PNA –