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DepEd trains Bicol learners to become disaster-resilient

By Connie Calipay

LEGAZPI CITY --- Hundreds of young learners from different public schools in the Bicol Region will soon start to take part in resilience enrichment activities as part of the Batang Empowered and Resilient Team (BERT) -- a disaster resilience training program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

In an interview on Thursday, Mayflor Jumamil, DepEd-Bicol spokesperson, said some 300 elementary school pupils already started attending training and activities that are focused on giving them knowledge and skills to effectively respond to disasters and emergencies.

She said these learners will then pass on what they learned to their classmates and peers as classes reopen in August.

“BERT is part of a project dubbed as ‘Education Safe From Disasters, Comprehensive School Safety Ecosystem’ that was collaborated with Save the Children Foundation and Prudence Foundation. The program is designed to educate young learners on identifying potential risks and hazards, both at home and within educational institutions, while teaching them appropriate actions to take before, during, and after a disaster,” Jumamil said.

She said the BERT will be rolled out to 30 public schools in the region as enrichment activities.

“The activities will be introduced to the learners for this school year 2023-2024. It will be a series of activities that they will enjoy and will not be counted as part of their subjects,” she said.

In a statement, DepEd Bicol Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad thanked Save the Children for partnering with the agency in the noble endeavor.

He emphasized the importance of making the youth to be resilient and proactive in the face of disasters, which are becoming increasingly frequent and unpredictable.

“The dedication and commitment shown by Save the Children in implementing this initiative have been commendable. Your vision of fostering resilience among our learners is crucial, especially in the face of various challenges they may encounter. By providing them with the necessary resources and opportunities, you are equipping them with the tools they need to overcome adversities and flourish,” Sadsad said.

Lawyer Christian Rivero, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) director, acknowledged the positive impact the project would have on children’s lives.

He underlined the crucial role of disaster preparedness in minimizing the impact of calamities and ensuring the safety of the community as a whole.

“This initiative marks a profound paradigm shift. By actively involving the younger generations in programs like this, we are empowering them to embrace Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) as an integral part of their lives, ensuring their continued engagement and proactive contribution to building a safer and more resilient future,” Rivero said. (PNA)


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