Friday, August 7, 2015

Shutting a School Down?

Yes we are!
That's the Salcedo National High School, in Salcedo, Eastern Samar.

But we'll build a new one. A better one!

What's their story? Here we go...

Built by the marshes and mangroves, the entire campus of Salcedo National High School was knee-deep in mud and debris after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). And there's no more telling up to how high the sea level rose during the height of the super typhoon. Every student, teacher or employee in this school can easily point to the watermarks near the ceilings (of the few rooms that did not vanish).

Students and teachers are now back at those that remain "usable" even if dilapidated. But others are left without anything, so they hold classes at every available space or shade like under a big tree.

Let's take a few more glances around the campus, shall we?

The principal's office is still dark, but respectably back in business, even if it is surrounded by crabs of all sizes, little fish and others from Nemo's and Dory's world, especially during high tide!

Teachers have just moved to their 'new' faculty room - a comfort room they have converted into an office, complete still with the toilet bowl! Can you see it? Look behind the chair towards the innermost part. The bowl's water closet is shiny!

So is their "Publication Office"! That is the pair.., the other comfort room, converted to become the "publication office"! Just the same, this other room serves as an extension of the "faculty room" since only a few teachers can fit in there at any given time!

Why is this so? Because, a humanitarian agency built a new comfort room just across this little rundown structure that should have already been demolished. But the teachers said "hep hep hep, hold your horses, we can still make use of it as faculty room and publication office. Oh ha?!

Now here below is the "science laboratory"... well, at least there are drawings of scientists' faces, and there is a model human skeleton inside the cabinet! But, that is it!

The library... new books, but...

And this is a Home Economics Room...

They do have a stock room...

And a "School Canteen"!

This place is in Barangay 2 of Salcedo. No humanitarian/aid/development agency would help the school, only because everything is built within the 40 meter no-build zone. Oh well, make that rule even 5 meters and the school will surely still be in that zone!

But, the ADB JFPR Team, together with our implementor (Plan International) could not close our eyes on this school and the future of all these kids.

Make the long story short. DepEd owns a property just behind the Salcedo Central Elementary School, the LGU made some checks, all authorities helped out... and voila! We are building a new Salcedo National High School Campus at Barangay 9. And the new disaster resilient building to be built by Plan International with funding from ADB JFPR Grant 9175, will not only tower over the town proper, but it will also sit beside an in-progress building being built by UNDP to become the town's evacuation center!

When done, it should look something like this:

Ground works have started...



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