DepEd to use clustering system in Marawi on school opening

MANILA To ensure that all Marawi learners would be accommodated come opening of classes on June 4, Department of Education (DepEd) Undersecretary Tonisito Umali said a clustering system will be done in the region.

"We will do clustering. Some students will be brought to the adjacent schools," Umali told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview on Thursday.

"We were not able to rehabilitate all schools, especially those in ground zero. There's no way they can be rebuilt from the same site or location. You need to find another location, so that means the 69 schools have been reduced to around 40," he said.

Umali noted that DepEd had issued an order saying Marawi learners are free to transfer to another school if they no longer want to return to the city.

"We should be lenient about the traditional transfer requirements and everything could be 'to follow', considering the tragedy that happened to them," he said.

Umali added that the displaced Marawi learners would be given focus to make sure they would not become victims of bullying.

Some 30,000 Marawi learners have reportedly been displaced by the five-month conflict between the military and Maute Group terrorists last year.

Even though they don't have the final statistics yet, Umali assured there are enough teachers to serve Marawi learners come June 4.

In an earlier statement, Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said, We want the opening of this school year to be without difficulty for our learners and personnel, especially those from Marawi, who have endured so much in the past year. We want them to be able to enroll and attend the first day of classes with less concerns."

Briones said the affected learners and personnel must "take a step from the shadow of the war and look forward to learning as their link to normalcy in the present and hope for the future." (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency