Classes resume in Mindanao schools

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COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Classes have resumed in 34 public schools in various parts of the province despite the relentless campaign of the armed forces against the rebel Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), education officials said on Saturday.

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Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) education secretary Jamar Kulayan said classes are back to normal but nine of the schools still serve as evacuation centers for refugees.

“Classes in evacuation centers are still on-going although the classrooms are used by the evacuees during night time,” Kulayan said.

The military launched a major offensive against the BIFF last February 27. At least 14,000 elementary and secondary students failed to attend classes as schools closed down and several were converted into evacuation centers.

But the schools administered the National Achievement Test on Thursday.    Some schools have asked to hold graduation rites earlier than the original schedule set on March 26-27.

Some of the towns affected by the military operation were Shariff Saydona, Mamasapano, Datu Unsay, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Rajah Buayan, Datu Hoffer and Datu Saudi. More than 40,000 people fled their homes to escape the fighting.

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