Classes resume in Cebu after two-week suspension due to quake

CEBU CITY, (PNA) — Classes resumed Monday throughout Cebu as students trooped back to schools after a two-week suspension of classes following a powerful earthquake that struck Central Visayas.

In Bohol, where the epicenter of the earthquake was located and which suffered heavier damage than Cebu, classes will resume Tuesday, Nov. 5, as the province marks Carlos P. Garcia Day Monday.

Garcia, Bohol’s most illustrious son, was the Philippines’ 8th president who served from 1957 to 1961.

In Cebu, teachers spent the first few hours of the day Monday discussing their experiences during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last Oct. 15 to help students move on from the trauma.

Teachers had earlier undergone stress debriefing conducted by the Safety Disaster Coordinating Council, which they in turn conducted to their students right after the flag-raising ceremony.

The debriefing included activities on disaster preparedness.

Students in quake-damaged schools in Cebu were divided into morning and night classes, with many classrooms and school buildings still in a state of disrepair.

The morning sessions are from 6:20 a.m. to 12 noon, while the afternoon classes are from 12:20 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.

Tents were also put up in some Cebu City schools as temporary classrooms.

At least 531 out of the total of 3,445 classrooms in the 122 public elementary and secondary schools in Cebu City have been declared unsafe for occupancy.

Dr. Rhea Mar Angtud, Cebu City schools division superintendent, said they scheduled the time slots of the subjects to fit the regular hours for class.

Angtud said they will conduct classes on the ground floor level to avoid panic because of the ongoing aftershocks.

Aftershocks continue to rattle the region with the most powerful one felt on Saturday night registering magnitude 5.2 on the Richter scale.

As of 4 a.m. Sunday, 3,198 aftershocks have been recorded since the quake that struck Central Visayas at 8:12 a.m. last Oct. 15, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.

In Cebu Province, some 804 classes were held in principals’ offices, home economics classrooms, social halls and other non-academic rooms.

Dr. Arden Monisit, Cebu provincial superintendent, said 804 classrooms, both in elementary and high schools, were declared structurally unsafe by Department of Education (DepEd) engineers.

Monisit said the tents they requested from the DepEd in Manila have not yet arrived.