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Schools remain closed in strife-torn Marawi City

Marawi City, Lanao del Sur
June 10, 2017

Classes in strife-torn Marawi City remain closed 
due to the ongoing government operations against remnants of the terrorist groups that perpetrated the Marawi strife since May 23. 
even as classes in most public schools in the country started on Monday, June 5.

Dr. John Magno, Secretary of Department of Education of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Dep-Ed-ARMM), said a memorandum was issued that classes in areas affected by the Marawi crisis will be deferred until DepEd’s central office and the National Security Council ensure the safety of schoolchildren.

He, however, noted classes in areas unaffected by the crisis opened on Monday as scheduled.

“We have also issued verbal instructions to our schools' division superintendents to closely monitor the opening of classes in areas that are not affected by the crisis,” Sec. Magno said.

So far, there were no reports of problems encountered when schools opened in most parts of the ARMM on Monday.

ARMM comprises the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with the current problem confined to Marawi City and neighboring areas in Lanao del Sur. As of June 4, over 22,000 students and 2,205 teachers are adversely affected by the crisis.

ARMM's information bureau disclosed Monday an update noting the following public schools to have been damaged by the fighting:

1.·Raya Madaya1 Elementary School (damaged);
2. Raya Madaya 2 Public School (half of the school was damaged);
3. Dansalan Public School (partially damaged);
4.·Mambuay Elementary School (damaged);
5. Mamintal Disomangcop Elementary School (burned down by bombs);
6. Banggolo Elementary School (damaged); and,
7. MCEPS 1 (hit by bomb)

“It would take some time to rehabilitate these schools, nevertheless the regional government has submitted a report to the national government to include these schools for rehabilitation,” Sec. Magno said.

In the meantime, Sec. Magno said it was agreed that the Education Department will be setting up a Temporary Learning Space for the displaced pupils and students with teachers previously assigned in Marawi deployed to handle classes in these temporary areas.

“I know it’s quite hard for learners and for teachers because this is something that happened unexpectedly. Nobody wants this to happen (and) it created stress on the part of our learners,” Sec. Magno said.

Teachers in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur’s neighboring province, have already undergone training on psychosocial interventions for schoolchildren who are traumatized by the crisis, he said.

“We need our learners to undergo this kind of intervention because (they have experienced) something traumatic,” he added.

“The least we could do is to be strong and to remain steadfast. Rest assured the department will do everything to help (schoolchildren adversely affected by the Marawi crisis),” Secretary Magno said.(Bureau of Public Information)
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