Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Caraga RTF-ELCAC eyes closure of non-DepEd schools amid pandemic

Philippine Information Agency
03 Jul 2020, 00:38 GMT+10

BUTUAN CITY, July 2 (PIA) -- In line with the pursuit of ending insurgency in the region, the Department of Education (DepEd) Caraga has pursued the closure of unaccredited schools in Caraga region amid the pandemic, per the mandate of the Caraga Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC).

Schools established under the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), Inc. and the Tribal Filipinos Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS), Inc. in Lianga and Marihatag towns in Surigao del Sur have now been closed, which were allegedly being used as training grounds by communist-terrorist groups (CTGs) in the area.

These are now being replaced with DepEd-accredited lumad schools.

In Brgy. Diatagon in Lianga town, over 80 percent of the makeshift classrooms are nearly complete. It is expected to cater in 29 tentative enrolees, wherein 10 students are expected to enrol under the Kinder level; eight under Grade 1; four under Grade 2; one under Grade 3; four under Grade 4; and one in Grades 5 and 6.

The construction of the makeshift building was accomplished by personnel from the military unit in the area and was funded by the provincial government of Surigao del Sur and the municipal government.

Meanwhile, in Brgy. Mahaba in the municipality of Marihatag, enrolment is still being conducted by teachers of the nearby San Roque Elementary School and Mahaba barangay officials.

Due to the gravity of the insurgency situation in the area, the construction of the makeshift building had to be postponed. However, the 9th Coy Special Forces (SF), Philippine Army and barangay officials are coordinating with the municipal government of Marihatag and the provincial government for the fast procurement of the building materials.

Both makeshift schools will be manned by three teachers, one from the department and the other two from the local community.

According to DepEd Caraga Regional Director Francis Cesar Bringas, the technical working group of the task force decided to establish schools for the displaced learners in the area for the pilot batch of establishing government-owned lumad schools.

"Both areas were chosen since they were identified as 'most problematic areas' by the provincial government of Surigao del Sur," he said.

Prior to the closure of the unaccredited schools, the schools' directors were given final notice of closure on February 21 of this year. Since no proper response was provided to the authorities, closure of the schools was pushed through.

The schools are expected to become fully functional prior to the resumption of classes on August 24. (DMNR/PIA-Caraga)

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