MANILA -- The Department of Education (DepEd) has provided temporary learning centers in "Urduja"-hit Biliran province as classes opened Wednesday, January 3.
Twelve schools, including two that were totally destroyed, had been affected when "Urduja" struck the province and several areas of eastern Visayas last December, DepEd said.

DepEd's estimated damage cost on the 12 affected schools is more than PHP39 million. Of this amount, PHP18.6 million would be needed for school buildings construction while almost PHP21 million would be allotted for classroom repairs.

DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones said the agency conducted Brigada Eskwela in Biliran last December 27. Brigada Eskwela is the agency's program that promotes volunteerism, preparing schools for the opening of classes. Volunteers work together in cleaning and repairing schools, painting, tree planting.

Briones said there is also a need for learning materials, equipment, and more teachers to provide better, quality education.

"DepEd is ready to build new schools as long as the local government unit would provide safe school sites," Briones said.The budget and construction plans are being prepared, she added.
Since two of the schools in Biliran were greatly affected by landslides, Briones told education stakeholders and the governor of Biliran that climate change must be taught to students.(PNA)