DepEd denies ordering closure of IP schools
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday denied allegations that it had ordered the shutdown of schools serving Indigenous Peoples (IP) in Mindanao.
“The Department of Education (DepEd), through DepEd Region XI, confirms that it did not order the closure of any school serving Indigenous Peoples (IP) learners. This is in view of a recent claim that a Salugpongan learning center in the region was closed ‘upon the orders of the Department,’” Deped said in a statement.
DepEd Region XI, which covers the Davao Region, also clarified that the closure of Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center in Davao del Norte was a decision by the IP community council.
“DepEd Region XI reports further that the tribal leaders of an IP community in Talaingod, Davao del Norte held a press conference morning of December 3 and stated that the closure of a Salugpongan learning center was a community decision supported by a resolution issued by the IP community council,” DepEd said.
In 2014, DepEd granted a “permit to operate” to the Salugpongan learning center, one of the three groups of private learning institutions operating in the region.
A permit to operate is a temporary authority to operate offered by DepEd to a private learning institution and is granted to an applicant still in the process of completing the requirements for full “recognition.”
Recognition, however, is an authority to operate by the DepEd to a private learning institution after submission of application requirements and its consequent approval following the application procedure provided in its guidelines.
DepEd also said it would continue to support the valuable contribution of nongovernment and community-led institutions in helping to improve access to culture-based basic education through the Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) initiatives. /atm
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