The 3-day special Brigada Eskwela
MARAWI, Philippines — The 3-day special Brigada Eskwela has begun in schools in Marawi City that were badly damaged by the 5-month war against terrorists.
The launch was led by Education Secretary Leonor Briones and participated by volunteers from various provinces and groups like the Members Church of God International (MCGI).
According to Sec. Briones, they will gradually help the children in the province to have access to education with the help of private companies.
Department of Education (DepEd) also seeks to improve the morale of the students so they would become enthusiastic to learn.
“This is only the start of a series of activities in Marawi, the series of Brigada in Marawi. Today we are only covering 15 schools because each of the regional directors and members of our executive committee is visiting one school each. And each region like Region 1 all the way from the North and from Laoag. They are adopting also one school,” Briones said.
She added that 47 schools in Marawi City have been damaged due to the clashes between the military and the ISIS-inspired Maute Terror Group.
Fifteen of the damaged schools open classes last September but are still in need of repairs due to damages it sustained because of the war.
During the inspection of DepEd along with military in 22 schools within the battle area, DepEd saw the need to replace the school buildings with new ones.
“We have 22 schools inside the main battle area. Of the 22 schools assuming that all of them are heavily damaged and it will be needing a reconstruction of new buildings, including the supply of textbooks and supply of computer laboratories, everything. We will need to have a P1.16 billion,” DepEd Usec Alain Pascua said.
Education officials first visited the Amai Pakpak Central Elem School that previously had 5-thousand students. However, only 500 students go back to school when it resumed classes last October.
“We tracked some students who are not in schools. . . so far, we tracked almost 1,000,” Marawi City Division Education Program supervisor, Baesarom Domato said. “Still we are encouraging our IDPs learners to come to school because even this December we are accepting them to transfer because it’s the time of the return of the IDPs from other places. They are returning here in Marawi City.”
DepEd also visited the Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak Elem School that has more than 200 students ranging from kindergarten to grade 6.
Although the school’s buildings were not badly damaged, DepEd said there is a need to repair it.
Reflected in the faces of the students is a longing for normalcy which they hope to achieve with the opening of schools where they can forget the nightmares of the war. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue