DepEd prepares to rebuild schools ruined by war
LEGAZPI CITY—Education Secretary Leonor Briones is expecting the number of displaced students returning to Marawi City once the conflict there ends will be lower as the Lanao del Sur provincial capital rises from the ruins of war.
Briones, who attended a Teachers’ Day program here last week, said that once the situation normalized in Marawi, it would be up to the parents to decide whether they would send their children back to school in their home city.
“In the process, I believe that there would be a significant number of children who would no longer return to their homes and businesses (that) were already destroyed by the war. When I visited them in the areas [where they] transferred, I saw that they [were] already [well] adjusted,” Briones said.
Briones said 27,000 children were enrolled in elementary and public high schools in Marawi before Islamic State-inspired terrorists, led by the Maute group, attacked the city on May 23.
She said when the crisis started, the Department of Education (DepEd) allowed the displaced students to be accommodated in public schools outside Marawi, even without their school records.
She said the DepEd would need some P2.3 billion to rebuild and repair Marawi’s 69 schools. At least 20 of these schools were destroyed and would need between P500 and P700 million to rebuild.
The secretary said the DepEd was considering tapping individuals, corporations, nongovernment organizations and foreign donors to “adopt” a school to help in rebuilding learning facilities.
Briones said the DepEd was also looking at sourcing funds from the Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM).
DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua said the agency’s plan to rebuild schools would largely depend on the rehabilitation plan prepared by TFBM.
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