It has been almost a year since the San Roque Elementary School’s pupils were able to go to school for the last time. In March 2020, a state of emergency was declared in the Philippines and a lockdown occurred, during which all school operations were switched to homeschooling. Shortly thereafter, the school grounds were converted into a quarantine station, which could only be closed again at the end of the year. Together with our project partners from the Greenfinity Foundation, we spoke with Florena Gomez Delen, the school's Director, about the challenges of the past months and the current situation at the school.
Florena, how were the past few months for you as Principal of San Roque Elementary School?
The past few months have been very challenging. Before the state of emergency was declared and the schools were ordered to close as a result, my biggest concern was protecting our teachers and pupils. Then, when face-to-face classes were suspended in March, the biggest obstacle was that we didn’t have the necessary infrastructure in place to offer online classes. The curfews imposed and the conversion of our school into a quarantine station also posed major logistical challenges for the entire school staff.