Lumad stu­dents taught to rebel

Sun.Star Davao - - OPINION -

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.

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