ILIGAN CITY - Thousands of Mindanao State University (MSU) returned to their classrooms on Tuesday as classes resumed despite the ongoing conflict in Marawi City.
Students participated in an orientation and rigid inspection by school faculty and the military at Barangay Maria Cristina early Tuesday morning before they boarded a bus to bring them to the campus in Marawi.
"After a short program, we will immediately start classes," Atty. Jamaloden Basar, MSU Vice President for Administration and Finance, said.
Students said they have mixed feelings about returning to the university.
Basar said that from about 12,000 students, enrollees dropped to only over 8,000. He is optimistic though that the school population will increase again when authorities finally clear Marawi from remaining Maute members.
In a text message, Capt. Joan Petinglay, spokesperson for the military, denied that Marantao town is on lockdown after a firefight ensued past 5:00 o'clock Tuesday morning between government forces and the Maute group. The harassment was approximately three kilometers away from MSU. The exchange of fire ended at 7:00 a.m.
MSU assured that security in the campus is in place.
The buses left for Marawi at 9:30 a.m.