Marawi kids can study in any school, says DepEd
The Department of Education (DepEd) has called on parents from conflict-torn Marawi City to enroll their children in public schools in communities where they ended up staying, not just to ensure their continued learning but also to provide some normalcy in their lives.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones said she had given instructions to school officials to accommodate students from Marawi even if they do not have the required transfer credentials, including documents like their birth certificates.
Some 1,391 students from Marawi had enrolled in schools outside the city, Briones said. Some went to schools as far as provinces in Central Luzon.
The DepEd also allowed late enrollees to enlist in public schools until the end of June, citing the situation in Marawi, where fighting erupted between government troops and members of the Maute terror group and Abu Sayyaf bandits last month.
“We are now in special circumstances so we are allowing late enrollment until the end of the month,” Briones said in a press briefing during her visit in one of the schools in Manila for the resumption of classes on Monday.
The resumption of classes in Marawi City and eight other districts in Lanao del Sur was earlier set to June 19 to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
But Briones said this could be extended to a later date if recommended by relevant security agencies, the DepEd in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the local government.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the regional government was planning to establish mobile learning centers in evacuation centers to ensure that no student would be deprived of learning.
Briones, during the briefing on Tuesday, said that with the way things were going, the conflict in Marawi might last longer.
“Education goes on whatever the situation is. And for as long as schools are open, for as long as children are not deprived or are always given the opportunity to learn and to be educated, then there is hope for all of us,” she said in a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“We make the children feel that there is something that they can look forward to aside from violence, the stories that they hear from the grown-ups,” she added.
Briones also said students from Marawi, who would enroll in other schools, should not be segregated from other students because this would encourage discrimination.
“We have so many national problems because we try to separate people and this always encourages whatever discrimination exists. We want the children to be able to adjust immediately,” she said.
The DepEd sought the help of the ARMM government in identifying Maranao-speaking teachers who left Marawi to help out in public schools.
In Central Luzon, at least 44 students from Marawi enrolled in schools in Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan and Nueva Ecija provinces. —WITH REPORTS FROM TONETTE OREJAS AND JOCELYN R. UY
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