DEPED-ARMM assists schools affected by Marawi crisis

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DEPEDARMM) has drafted recovery programs and plans and conducted initial damage assessment for schools adversely affected by the Marawi crisis.

Alfhadar Pajiji, DEPEDARMM Assistant Secretary, said the department will be providing e-learning assistance, psychosocial first aid, and a feeding program for school children affected by the crisis.

Based on initial damage assessment, schools with buildings partly, or entirely, destroyed in the Marawi fighting are as follows: Ibango Elementary School, Marawi Pilot Central School, Dangcal Elementary School, Lower Dansalan Elementary School, Dansalan National High School, Raya Madaya Elementary School, Disomangcop Elementary School, Marinaut Central Elementary School, Banggolo Central Elementary School, and Madaya Lilod Elementary School.

Damage in those schools were initially estimated at P120 million. In pursuit of the recovery program, DEPED-ARMM and the region’s Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-ARMM) signed a Memorandum of Agreement where the design and construction of school buildings was assigned to DPWHARMM, said Pajiji.

As of July 27, DEPEDARMM has been operating 11 Temporary Learning Spaces as alternative schools in six municipalities with 3,289 school children and 122 teachers. Based on current estimates, 132 schools with 22,714 students and 2,933 teachers have been affected by the Marawi crisis.

The e-learning assistance is a regular project of DEPED-ARMM under its computerization program intended for Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDA). Secondary schools under GIDA have also been included in the current response to the crisis.

The department’s assistance to affected schools also includes solar panels with batteries to store power, seven tablets, and a laptop, said Pajiji, adding, the distribution of hygiene kits, relief goods, food items and medicine are also part of the initiative. The DEPEDARMM, in coordination with Gawad Kalinga, also dispensed hot meals to 1,000 school children on July 5. The feeding program is ongoing and has served 2,800 people. The feeding initiative was reported as very successful during its initial intervention last month in Saguiaran town in Lanao del Sur.

Aside from students, 1,400 teachers are also being provided with psychosocial first aid. “Ganoon din po yung plano natin sa ating mga teachers, because we are pretty sure also na hindi lang ang mga learners ang affected pati na rin ang mga guro,” Pajiji said.

Pajiji said DEPEDARMM has been continously exerting efforts to ensure the welfare of the school children and teachers affected by the crisis.

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