More than a decade ago, a huge fire gutted Buaya Elementary School in Lapu-Lapu City, burning the whole school building down and leaving hundreds of students without proper classrooms for several months.
But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Buaya Elementary School was able to fully rebuild its facilities after almost two years. For school management at that time, though, fixing a burnt down building was not enough.
“Since then, disaster education has become our advocacy. It is important for us to be knowledgeable about disasters so we can teach our students properly, giving them information that will eventually reach their parents and their whole community,” said Caroline del Corro, who served as the school’s officer in charge that time.
Del Corro and 11 others from the school were among the first group of educators trained by the Department of Education (DepEd) on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) in 2015, in partnership with a non-government organization and an international government agency.
This year, the DepEd Lapu-Lapu City Schools division conducted a five-day workshop on DRRM Education and integration of DRRM to the school curriculum to primary school teachers from April 16 to 20 and for secondary school teachers on April 23 to 26.
A total of 137 educators from the two batches participated in the training, all of whom are expected to come up with instructional plans which integrate DRRM as well as echo what they have learned to other teachers within their division.
“I believe that moving forward, information and education will help us become more resilient,” said Del Corro.
DepEd Lapu-Lapu has partnered with AboitizPower, through its subsidiary East Asia Utilities Corporation (EAUC), and the Aboitiz Foundation for this year’s set of trainings.
“We are very fortunate to have AboitizPower as our partners because we want to sustain the project,” said Ma. Elena Berame, project development officer at the DepEd Lapu-Lapu City Schools Division.
According to Berame, young learners are a potent force in building disaster-resilient communities and that teachers are in a strategic position to cascade the knowledge they need to achieve that goal.
DepEd’s other partners in this activity were the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), and Bureau of Fire Protection.
“We are excited to partner with DepEd and Lapu-Lapu City in helping our schools and host communities become more disaster resilient. This is aligned with our group purpose of advancing business and communities” said Engr. Cirilo Nanual, assistant vice president for Visayas operations of the AboitizPower Oil Business Unit.