By MARK FRANCISCO, Staff Writer
THE Department of Education (DepEd) is bracing for the expected influx of displaced students in Marawi City to enrol in Iligan City.
In a meeting with all the six DepEd regional directors from Mindanao last Tuesday in Cagayan de Oro City, Education Secretary Leonor Briones estimated that around 2,155 elementary, junior high and senior high students will re-enrol in both public and private schools in Iligan City.
Briones also admitted that the agency is overwhelmed by the exodus thus resulting to a shortage of classrooms in the vicinity.
Speaking to reporters after her meeting with the regional directors, Briones said that DepEd will be erecting what she dubbed as “temporary learning spaces” or tents for the students to use in the next academic year which will start this Monday.
“For the tents, there will be no budgetary problem as based from experience, a lot of sectors are expressing their interest to donate,” she said.
This, as Briones said that public school campuses in Iligan City must remain to be military-free, meaning soldiers are not allowed to loiter inside the complexes while classes will go on.
Along this line, Briones disclosed that DepEd is in an urgent status to hire Maranao-speaking teachers who will be mentoring the displaced schoolchildren.
She said that the public school teachers augmentation coming from DepEd’s Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) office is not enough.
Briones said anyone interested to apply may approach the DepEd 10 office in Cagayan de Oro City for more details.
In a related development, Briones also announced that the start of classes on June 5 will be temporarily suspended in battle-torn Marawi City and eight other barangays in the vicinity.
Briones said that the situation in Marawi is still precarious for students to get back to school.
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