CAGAYAN DE ORO – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday said classes will start on June 5 in Mindanao, as scheduled, despite strict security measures and martial law due to clashes between government forces and militants in Marawi City.
“Education of our learners will proceed whatever the situation is. Wherever they are, whether they are displaced, whether they are in Iligan or Cagayan de Oro. We will endeavor always to continue with the learning process because that is our mandate and that is part of the culture of the Filipino,” said Education Secretary Leonor Briones in a press conference.
However, classes in Marawi City and eight other barangays in Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte, and Iligan will be suspended for two weeks at most, depending on advice from the National Security Council regarding movements of militant groups in affected areas.
“The safety of our learners is important,” Briones said.
She did not divulge the eight barangays because of security reasons.
She added, education officials in northern Mindanao have already conducted an inventory of how many additional students there will be in areas where evacuees from Marawi City are known to have fled, such as Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City, so they can prepare.
“We are counting and inventoring (sic) the number of children in evacuation centers. Nag re-ready na kami ng learning spaces, school rooms, learning materials and teachers...[School officials] know that come June 5, they will have more learners,” Briones said.
Enrollment requirements for displaced students will be waived.
“We are going to waive cards, pag may batang mag e-enroll, tatanggapin. In time of war, we don’t require the bureaucratic requirements,” she said.
DepEd will await further advice from the National Security Council regarding any extension of the class suspension in Marawi.