Students in some typhoon-hit areas 'back to zero again' in distance learning: NGO

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2020 11:24 PM

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MANILA - Some students who struggled preparing for distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic are "back to zero again" after powerful storms barreled through their areas since last week, a non-government organization said Sunday.

Affected students, especially in the Bicol Region, suffered another setback after tropical cyclones Quinta and Rolly took out power lines and internet access in their areas, according to Educo Philippines, an educational NGO.

"At the same time, kapag binaha po din 'yung lugar, definitely po wala na din po 'yung kanilang mga school supplies, yung mga modules nila," Educo spokesperson Shiena Base told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

"Added pa diyan 'yung psycho-social... psychological effect sa bata," she said, noting the impact of the recent weather disturbances may have added to the burden endured by the students from the strict coronavirus lockdown.

The problems posed by the pandemic on the education of students in storm-hit areas, especially in Bicol, have been "exacerbated," according to Base.

"Mas severe at mas grave 'yung impact no'n pagdating sa usaping pag-aaral at pag-cope ng mga bata," she said.

At least 10 people were killed in Bicol while 3 others went missing after Rolly slammed into Southern Luzon, the Office of Civil Defense in Region 5 said Sunday.

Rolly, which slammed through the region as a super typhoon early Sunday morning, also displaced 390,298 people from their homes, with 345,044 still staying in evacuation centers. 

Provincial officials also said Rolly cut off power in all Bicol provinces, and in some parts of Quezon province. 

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Last week, Quinta killed at least 16 people and took out power lines and internet access in the regions of Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa and Central Visayas.

It also forced 57,742 families to flee their homes, disaster management officials said.