DepEd not singling out ‘lumad’ schools – Briones
MANILA, Philippines – The Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center Inc., which operates schools in “lumad” or indigenous peoples’ communities is not being singled out despite the suspension of its permit to operate, Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Leonor Briones pointed out Thursday.
“This is not the only instance where schools are closed because we have closed private schools, small private schools,” Briones said in a press conference.
“Arrangements have always been made for the transfer of the students to other nearby accessible schools. Not just for IP [indigenous people] learners, but schools of all sorts. Gusto natin lahat pareho,” she added.
Briones emphasized this amid the DepEd’s order for temporary closure of 55 schools serving “lumad” communities in Mindanao.
“I just want to emphasize na hindi sila singled out, hindi sila finofocus, you have prevailing standards and then you also have national security concerns. Ganon lang,” she said.
For instance, Briones said other schools have been shut down for lack of students or teachers, non-compliance with DepEd standards, inadequate facilities, and the like.
“This is just very dramatic because it has attracted media attention, but every year, there are schools closed and students are transferred to other schools, other branches, for various problems — for non-compliance or inability, for example, they ran out of teachers or they ran out of students or the facilities are inadequate,” she said.
DepEd earlier ordered suspension of the lumad schools’ permit to operate based on the report of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. that the schools are supposedly spreading anti-government propaganda and deviated from the DepEd curriculum.
Students affected by the temporary closure of the “lumad” schools, will be admitted to nearby schools, DepEd said. /gsg
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