Lumad students taught to rebel
The military have recently made allegations that the Salugpongan community schools have been allegedly teaching students to rebel against the government
“One of the recovered documents in Salugpongan nakalagay doon: Tutulungan nating armasan ang mga Lumad para maipagtanggol nila ang yutang kabilin. Ang sagot ng bata mali because it espouses violence clearly but it was marked wrong by the teacher,” 1003rd Infantry Brigade commander Brigadier General Ernesto Torres Jr. said on Wednesday.
Asenad Bago, a former student of Salugpungan Sitio Dulyan in Barangay Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte, also said earlier that they were taught by their teachers to tell false accusations against the military such as burning their schools.
The army will be submitting evidence against the community schools to the Department of Education soon.
It was also reported by the Philippine News Agency that members of Ata-Manobo communities in Talaingod, Davao del Norte want salugpungan schools out because of these recent allegations.
The militant groups or the Salugpongan community schools have not issued any statements yet on these allegations. However, it will be no surprise if they say that the allegations are false.
There may be doubts from the statements of the army but when it comes from the tribe leaders and a former student, we have to also start questioning some non-government organizations about what they are really doing and teaching at the community schools.
Yes, there are non-government organizations (NGOs) who are really providing education to the indigeous peoples. However, we cannot discount the possibility of other grops taking advantage of the need of the lumads for education. Instead of teaching them things that are within the curriculum of the Department of Education (Deped), they teach them to rebel against the government, using of guns, and even Lupang Sinira, a twisted version of Lupang Hinirang.
Deped, while it may claim that it is doing something about the community schools, may have to intensify its monitoring of these community schools. This is to ensure that what is being taught to students in rural areas are within the curriculum.
Officials of Deped might have to go up the mountains more to check the situations of the schools there. They cannot simply issue letters, department orders, or other documents, they have to go there and see for themselves. It is their mandate in the first place to ensure the quality of education of ALL Filipinos.
The NGOs must also be more transparent to the public with what they are teaching to their lumad students. With the recent allegations, their image have been tarnished.
There are many sides to this issue on the community schools. However, if no proper action is made by the government or if some groups continue to take advantage of the community schools, the indigenous peoples are still the victims here. The government can barely provide them quality education in the mountains and some groups have taken advantage of them.