COTABATO CITY: The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) hurdled all obstacles in 2017 to continue bringing education to the region in time of peace and war.
DepEd-ARMM regional secretary John Amil Magno, said the ARMM through its Humanitarian and Development Action Program (ARMM-HDAP) has committed full implementation of its special emergency education recovery program (SEERP) that started in 31 conflict-affected schools in Maguindanao.
Based on validation of the ARMM’s education cluster, 12,215 students were affected by the conflict resulting from the Mamasapano incident in January 2015.
The HDAP assessment for January 2016 covering 10,457 students showed that 5,389 were identified as malnourished and slow learners in the 31 schools.
This prompted the DepEd-ARMM to conduct a series of training and capability-building sessions for school principals, teachers, school nurses, guidance counselors, and school planning officers.
Under the SEERP, the DepEd-ARMM conducts psycho-social support services, psycho-social first aid, food supplementation consisting of two snacks and lunch and declaring the beneficiary institutions as Salam (Peace) schools.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman allocated P13.2 million to implement the support services, education recovery program and special education recovery program.
Repair of schools
When the Marawi siege broke out on May 23, several offices, mosques, houses and school buildings were destroyed mostly by the air strikes the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) launched to flush out the combined terrorist groups of Maute and Abu Sayyaf Group holed up in several buildings.
When the AFP declared that the war was over after almost seven months of intense fighting, the DepEd-ARMM started to repair seven damaged schools in Marawi City and 54 others in various parts of Lanao del Sur.
Magno directed his Assistant Secretary Alfhadar Pajiji to go to Marawi City to oversee the immediate repair of the schools heavily damaged by bombs.
An initial budget of P34 million from the department’s regular program was allocated for the repair of the destroyed school structures and facilities in Marawi that displaced more than 62,000 students in public and private schools, as well as in state universities and colleges.
Among the schools immediately repaired were Matampay Elementary School, Tampilong Elementary School, Datu Saber Elementary School, Basak Elementary School, Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School, Pandi Elementary School and Marawi City National High School.
As part of the recovery programs, the DepEd-ARMM provided e-learning assistance, psycho-social first aid and feeding program for schoolchildren affected by the crisis.
Meanwhile, the DepEd central office announced that an estimated P2 billion is needed to rebuild Marawi City’s schools that were totally damaged, plus 47 others that need major repairs.