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PIA Press Release
2008/11/18

Sec. Lapus turns over 2 UNICEF-type school buildings in Legazpi

By Mar Arguelles

Legazpi City (18 November) -- Education Secretary Jesli Lapus on Monday turned over two units of school buildings under the United Nation International Children Education Fund's (UNICEF) Safe Schools Project at the Rawis Elementary School and San Francisco National High School both in this city.

The two school building worth P2.3 million each is among the 12 school edifice built across the region under the UNICEF assisted school building program.

Lapus with UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin and City Mayor Noel Rosal led the turn-over rights of the two edifice to the DepEd City Superintendent of Schools at the Rawis Elementary School here..

Lapus said the school building is a hazard-resilient model utilizing concrete and steel which can withstand strong typhoons a natural calamity that frequently hits the region being a typhoon belt area in the country.

The roof is reinforced by concrete beams to withstand pressure, and is covered by felt fabric to make it waterproof. Lapus said in a press conference at the Rawis Elementary School here.

Lapus said "DepEd is currently stepping-up its efforts to strengthen capacities of public schools for disaster reduction. With the help of UNICEF, the school can truly become a child-friendly place."

He said school building should be fit not only for learning but must also be functional in times of natural disaster.

Schools built after this model are provided with steel doors and windows, and are expected to last for 50 years, even in typhoon areas.

Tobin said the Safe School Project is not just a rehabilitation of the damages in the school facilities but it includes both structural and non-structural components.

"This project is also about preparing the community through trainings, and educating them in disaster risk management," she pointed out.

She said these standard two-classroom buildings are intended for both learning and public use. These can be used as evacuation centers during calamities and emergencies. Each classroom can accommodate 63 students or at least six families.

Traditional models for public schools cannot accommodate several families and have incomplete facilities, thus disrupting teaching and learning activities.

"With this initiative, DepEd's services are not only limited to the students - its impact will reach the entire community. I call on the local government units to work with DepEd in making child-friendly learning environments for our learners," Lapus said. (PIA) [top]

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