Manila (Agenzia Fides) - After the passage of devastating typhoon Bopha, which hit the country recently (see Fides 06/12/2012), thousands of children in the southern island of Mindanao are returning to school, late in comparison to the beginning of classes in the rest of the country. On December 7, 2012 a state of emergency was declared. The reopening of schools after the Christmas holiday was postponed because many buildings were used as evacuation centers. It is estimated that 569 schools, both primary and secondary, have been damaged or completely destroyed and 231,681 students are affected. In the departments of Boston, Cateel and Baganga in the eastern part of the province of Davao, only 2 schools were left standing. In some areas not even a single one.
Bopha hit Mindanao on December 4, 2012 affecting 6,000,000 and 300,000 people and recording more than 2,000 deaths or people missing. Destroyed 200,000 homes. The typhoon caused violent floods in particular in the eastern part of the province of Oriental Davao, in Surigao del Sur and Compostela Valley. After one month, electricity has not been restored, many schools are forced to depend on generators, and the rain continues to fall. On January 8, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) complained about the precarious psycho-social support for education and school children. Many people say they are also concerned about the long-term effect that the typhoon could have. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 14/01/2013)