IN its continuous efforts to ensure safety of Filipino young learners from armed conflict, the Department of Education (DepEd) has reiterated that military presence inside school premises is strictly prohibited to avoid disruption of classes.
According to Alberto Muyot, DepEd undersecretary for legal and legislative affairs, while stationing military units in schools does not directly mean recruitment, the cancelation of classes for children has an adverse effect on their education.
“Our schools are zones of peace,” Muyot said in an interview over the weekend.
“We want our students to be safe from any harm or any form of violence. It is the responsibility of everyone to promote and ensure peace not only at schools but the whole community,” he added.
Muyot noted that the DepEd has issued a memorandum that strictly prohibits schools from being used as barracks by soldiers or any related military activities inside or within the regional offices have been directed to report stationing of military units inside schools to the central office.
Early this year, human rights group Karapatan slammed the presence
of a military encampment in a school in Compostela province in Mindanao.
Karapatan said classes of 230 children were disrupted because soldiers were occupying classrooms.
This occupation, the group added, showed that guidelines of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Education department are being used to justify rights violations against children and communities.
Neil A. Alcober