PASIG CITY, May 22, 2018 – Exactly one year after the siege that took away lives, livelihood, education, and opportunities from the residents of Marawi City, the Department of Education (DepEd) and its partners will once more work together to enable learners and their families to turn over a new leaf and greet the new school year with better hope and continuous education through the conclusion of Brigada Eskwela sa Marawi(BESM) and the launch of Oplan Balik Eskwela sa Marawi (OBEM) on May 23 at Amai Pakpak Central Elementary School.
“Historically, May 23, 2017 will be remembered as the day bullets and extremism tore down the beautiful City of Marawi; however, let it be remembered that May 23, 2018 is the day restored hope, sustained bayanihan, and continued education will help rebuild the dreams that our Marawi learners once thought were lost,” DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones stated.
The Education chief, who relentlessly campaigned that “education must continue” for the displaced learners since the war started, will visit ground zero for the first time where 20 schools destroyed in the armed conflict are included in the government’s overall rehabilitation of the area.
Secretary Briones noted that DepEd, in cooperation with DepEd Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has been surveying 69 schools in the city to assess integrity and safety for learners’ use. While not all schools in Marawi will be able to welcome learners when classes open on June 4 due to poor and unsafe condition, a clustering system of adjacent schools will be implemented to ensure that learners will be accommodated.
“We want the opening of this school year to be without difficulty for our learners and personnel, especially those from Marawi who have endured so much in the past year; We want them to be able to enroll and attend the first day of classes with less concerns; The Department is confident that we are not wanting in support from people and organizations whose passion for education will enable our affected learners and personnel to take a step from the shadow of the war and look forward to learning as their link to normalcy in the present and hope for the future,” the Secretary pointed out.
DepEd ARMM Secretary Rasul Mitmug, DepEd ARMM Assistant Secretary for Special Projects Alfhadar Pajiji, Marawi City Schools Division Superintendent (SDS) Pharida Sansarona, Marawi City Assistant Schools Division Superintendent (ASDS) Anna Zenaida Unte-Alonto, DepEd Executive Committee members, and Regional Directors will join Secretary Briones in the ceremonies.