DepEd nixes separate classes for Marawi students

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Education Secretary Leonor Briones on Friday allayed fears that displaced students from war-torn Marawi City might suffer bullying even as she nixed proposal for separate classes that could unwitting cause discrimination and misunderstanding.

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Briones said she has directed all regional directors to brief the teachers on the education department’s anti-bullying policy which imposes “very strict sanctions”.

She said the proposal to create separate classes for Marawi learners to protect them from bullying does not solve the problem and may only promote discrimination and misunderstanding between the local and the absorbed students.

“As early as possible, they should be integrated into regular classes,” the DepEd chief said.

Briones also reiterated the policy against any kind of punishment, including corporal, imposed for an alleged or
actual offense, by a teacher, school administrator, an adult, or any other child who has been given or has assumed authority or responsibility for punishment or discipline.

An administrative case shall be filed against DepEd officials who neglects the duty to provide a safe and free-from-fear learning environment for students, the DepEd chief warned.

Meanwhile, the DepEd is mulling the setting up of temporary learning spaces in schools that accommodate students from Marawi City to forestall overcrowding.

DepEd assistant secretary for legislative affairs Tonisito Umali told The Manila Times that the learning spaces may be considered in schools near Marawi that have sudden increase in enrolment, like those in Iligan City.
DepEd has anticipated an influx of students in the nearby areas including the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, as a result of student migration.

Umali said Lanao del Norte has about 705 students and Iligan City with 378 from Marawi.

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