THE Department of Education (DepEd) will verify reports that supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are recruiting in schools in Mindanao to expand the group’s global membership.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro on Saturday said they have yet to receive verified information on the existence of this group.
“DepEd is concerned about recent reports that there is ISIS recruiting in Mindanao schools. We still have to verify which schools in particular are targeted by this group,” Luistro said.
The DepEd chief added that education officials have coordinated with local officials, the police and military to prevent jihadists or members of terror groups from preying on students.
“We will have to work with local authorities as lead agency in coordination with the AFP (Armed Force of the Philippines) and PNP (Philippine National Police) as DepEd cannot take the lead on matters related to safety and security of the community,” Luistro said.
“We are currently working on identifying relevant senior high school programs of the K-to-12 reform which should provide better alternatives for the future careers and professions of young people in Mindanao,” he added.
An imam or high priest in a Cotabato mosque who was “invited” to join the ISIS earlier disclosed that the group is targeting students and professors of the Mindanao State University, which has campuses in several cities in Mindanao.
He said members of a Jemaah Islamiyah terror cell have organized themselves into a recruitment group and are wooing students in private and public schools to embrace the cause being propagated by the militant Islamic State forces.