DepEd: Thousands of students, teachers displaced by Marawi crisis

MANILA-- About 22,000 students and 1,411 teachers in Marawi City have been displaced due to the ongoing armed conflict between the Maute group and government forces, a top official of the Department of Education (DepEd) said.

In an interview, DepEd Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Tonisito Umali said as of July 10, 21,457 out of the 22,000 have been tracked down in various areas in the country.

Some of the displaced learners enrolled in Region 1 with 34 students.

The highest number of Marawi displaced learners are in Region 10 with an estimated 12,663 students.

DepEd found some of the learners in Lanao del Norte with 4,889 wherein 4,027 are in Iligan City.

In Lanao del Sur, there are about 4,049 students and in Lanao del Sur, 3,206.

For the learners absorbed in various divisions, he said DepEd has provided interventions such as psychological first aid.

Tents and temporary learning spaces have been set up in areas that can no longer accommodate students in regular rooms.

We provided learning kits. Same thing with our teachers we provided them teaching kits, hygiene kits... all the necessary things for them. As much as possible normally,all regions but particularly in region 10, he said.

Out of the 1,411 displaced teachers, DepEd said about 1,284 teaching personnel are from Marawi City.

We are still trying to track all of them, in the same way we track some as far as Batac. Maybe if they are back to work or they were called where they are or if they are teaching now in other divisions. Kasi wala naman silang babalikan na sa Marawi. Ganun din nag enroll lahat yan yung sinabi kong numero. Yung iba nasa evacuation centers nais munang manatili doon, he said.

Part of the efforts of the department to assist the displaced DepEd workers and students include trying to locate them, especially the teaching and non-teaching personnel.

"Once we locate them we would like to make sure that they are all okay. We try to provide what we can provide them," he said.

"And we give them provisions or whatever help we can possible provide. Again, trying to make their lives again be the same persons to take care of our children who are also affected, by giving them a sense of normalcy, the way they do," he said.

"We do not want a situation where our teachers and non-teaching personnel tasked to take care of our children are themselves worried about what will happen," he added.

"The policy right now is that we don't want our Marawi displaced learners to wait for the day for Marawi to resume classes before they return to classes," he said.

As of July 11, DepEd records show the displaced learners increased to 23,370 from 21,457. Region 10 has the highest displaced learners with 14,412 from 12,663.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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