By Lady Jean Kabagani

MARAWI CITY, June 8 (PIA TFBM ICCC) — Ensuring the smooth opening of classes in all schools in Marawi City after the five-month-long siege, the Department of Education (DepEd)-Marawi City Schools Division announces readiness to bring back normalcy of education system in the war-torn community.

DepEd-Marawi Schools Division Focal Person Assistant Superintendent Anna Zenaida Unte assures that all the schools in the war-torn city outside the most affected area are prompt to sustain the education of young Maranaos.

“Wala pong problema sa ating mga anak kasi po lahat po ibibigay natin sa kanila like uniform, at hindi po natin bibigyan ng problema ang mga magulang sa pagpunta ng kanilang mga anak sa paaralan [There is no problem when it comes to our children because we will provide them all they need such as uniform and we will not give problems to the parents when it comes to the schooling of their children],” Unte said in an interview.

Young learners enjoying their school activities during the first week of classes in temporary learning spaces. (Photo by Jason Casas/PIA-ICCC)

Unte also reiterate the excitement of all Marawi teachers to impart fruitful scholastic knowledge to young learners albeit the ongoing rehabilitation process of the conflict-stricken city, “Kami po, the entire teaching force ng Marawi na nagkaroon ng aming first day of service, it was very successful, kami ay masyadong excited na magturo katulad nung mga ibang guro na medyo matagal nang hindi nakapagturo, mga isang taon din yun [We,  the entire teaching force of Marawi had our first day in service, it was very successful, we are much excited to teach like any other teachers who haven’t been in teaching service for almost a year]”.

The official is very optimistic that the education sector will be able to bring back the regularity of literacy and academic structures in Marawi, “Kami ay babalik at babangon, a better Marawi City schools division, more competent and far more beautiful than the division we used to have. Handang-handa na po kami. [We are going back and rise again, a better Marawi City schools division, more competent and far more beautiful than the division we used to have. We are very much ready].”

DEPED supports young Marawi residents’ education

The local and national education sector never failed to bear guarantee on continuous education for all affected children in the conflict-devastated town of Marawi. Deped hopes that the affected teachers and learners would be able to rebuild a better education system this year and to the forthcoming years.

Teaching young learners to participate in class activities as the educators started to imparting peace education among young minds. (Photo by Jason Casas/PIA-ICCC)

Unte said that the central office’s education department and Deped-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are closely working with their Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) partner agencies to include priority in the provision of education programs amongst young learners of Marawi.

“Nananawagan po ako na wag po kayong malungkot o mapagod na dalhin ang inyong mga anak sa paaralan kasi ang kinabukasan po nila ang importante at kami po sa Department of Education ay naniniwalang kailangan pong maipagpatuloy ang kanilang kinabukasan [I am requesting to you not to be afraid or be tired bringing your children to school as their futures are important and we in Department of Education believes that there is a must to continue their education for their brighter futures],” Unte encourages Marawi parents to keep eyes on their children’s education.

The five-month-long conflict between the government and the ISIS-inspired terrorist group affected a total of 69 schools, among these are 20 schools were situated in the most affected area and were totally damaged while another 49 are in need of repairs. 42 among these schools are now simultaneously operational for the school year 2018-2019 that complemented to the national Oplan Balik Eskwela Program.

TLS in Sagonsongan Transitional Site

Days after the classes started nationwide, a newly established Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) located in Brgy. Sagonsongan Transitional Site Area 2  and was named after the Marawi Central Elementary Pilot School (MCEPS) – one of the 20 schools that were totally damaged in MAA, is now functioning for education services of the young Maranaos housed in Sagonsongan temporary shelters.

Unte clarifies that the TLS’s school name is subject to change since it’s just momentarily used for school records of students as the agency awaits for the rehabilitation of 20 schools were totally dented by the siege.

A teacher facilitates class session for the kindergarten learners in support to DepEd’s commitment to bring back normalcy on education system in Marawi city.(Photo by Jason Casas/PIA-ICCC)

The TLS is donated by the Church of Latter Day Saints in coordination with Department of Education (DepEd) and other partnered member agencies of the TFBM.

Currently, there are 69 teachers actively teaching in TLS from kinder to elementary level. So far, about 1069 students are enrolled in TLS. As the classes started, only 600 among more than a thousand enrollees have attended the first week of classes, however, it is expected that after month Ramadhan, the current number of students attending classes in the recent weeks will be doubled. (LJKabagani/PIA ICCC)