DepEd holds Brigada Eskwela in Marawi City
Cotabato City (December 14,2017) – The Department of Education (DepEd) brings together volunteers and resources from its offices nationwide as it launched Brigada Eskwela in Marawi City on Wednesday, December 13. The volunteers repaired, painted, and cleaned some of the schools that were damaged by the five-month fighting in the war-torn city.
Education Secretary Leonor Briones and DepEd-ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) Secretary Dr. John Magno led the Brigada Eskwela covering 16 schools in the city.
Volunteers came from various DepEd offices across the country. The activity is a joint effort among DepEd offices nationwide, with the regional offices in Mindanao providing the manpower and the Visayas and Luzon regional offices providing the resources.
Marawi City has a total of 69 schools, 22 of which were totally damaged in the war affecting more than 62,000 students who were enrolled in public and private schools as well as in state universities and colleges.
In November, the DepEd-ARMM started to repair seven damaged schools in Marawi City and 54 others in various parts of Lanao del Sur. “The (initial) budget for the repair, which is over P34 million, came from the regular program of the DepEd,” said Alfhadar Pajiji, DepEd-ARMM Assistant Secretary.
Schools where Brigada Eskwela was launched on Wednesday were:
• Bito Elementary School;
• Rorogagus Elementary School;
• Mipagaga Elementary School;
• Pendolonan Elementary School;
• Abdulazis Elementary School;
• Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak Elementary School;
• Sugod Central Elementary School;
• Sultan Conding Elementary School;
• Sikap Elementary School;
• Banga Primary School;
• Cabingan Primary School;
• Datu Tambak Primary School;
• Basak Elementary School;
• Pandi Elementary School:
• Marawi City National High School; and
• Amai Pakpak Elementary School
“Education must continue. Let’s all give quality education to the learners. The Department of Education will help rebuild damaged schools here in Marawi City,” Secretary Briones said. She also underscored the need to provide psychosocial assistance not just for the students but also for displaced teachers.
“Di namin pababayaan ang Marawi City. Umpisa lamang ito. Hindi natin ititigil ang Brigada Eskwela hanggang hindi natin matapos maayos ang lahat ng paaralan sa Marawi,” she added.
Jomairah Noor, 5th grade student of Camp Bagong Amai Pakpak, said: “Nagpapasalamat po kami, dahil nakikita namin na hindi kami pinapabayaan. Marami po tumutulong sa amin.”
“Sana po hindi na ulit magkagulo dito sa Marawi para tuluy-tuloy na pag aral namin at para maging masaya na kaming lahat dito,” she added.
Tanjirea Mascara, Grade 6 teacher in Amai Pakpak Elementary School, reiterated the challenge of teaching students who are victims of the siege.
“Ang challenge para sa amin ngayon ay kami mismo mga teacher ay biktima din ng kaguluhan. Imbes na umiyak ako at magmukmok, kailangan ipakita sa mga estudyante namin na matatag kami. Kailangan turuan at tulungan yung mga bata na maging matatag sa kabila ng mga nangyari,” Mascara said.
“At kailangan namin gawin ang lahat ng aming makakaya para tulungan ang mga bata na ipagpatuloy ang pag aaral dahil napakahalaga ito para makamit ang kanilang pangarap sa buhay,”she added.
Meanwhile, the DepEd-ARMM said it is continuously monitoring the situation students and teachers affected by the Marawi crisis. (Bureau of Public Information)