MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–Following the various interventions brought particularly for displaced learners of the city, the Schools Division here attested how the international humanitarian organization Save the Children – Philippines through the funding of the European Union remains in service to ensure delivery of quality education.
Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Anna Zenaida Unte Alonto shared that for the past decades, Bangsamoro learners were the most vulnerable in terms of transpiring conflicts, unremedied poverty, and other more factors that impacted internally displaced persons’ (IDPs’) lives.
She stated that despite the Department of Education’s (DepEd’s) effort to ensure the quality of education will not be curtailed and the right to education will carry on amid all the present circumstances, they still need additional reinforcement as they cannot do their mission alone and it is at this time when they see the Save the Children – Philippines continuously striving alongside with them.
“The entirety of City Schools Division of Marawi would like to express our immense gratitude that you have been helping us, especially at the height of the siege and until this very moment when we can remember May 23 of 2017 when the siege started and among all the divisions in the mainland of Lanao del Sur and it was the City Schools Division of Marawi which was strictly hit among all other divisions,” said Alonto during the visit of European Union Head of Delegation to the Philippines Ambassador Luc Véron at Sagonsong Temporary Learning School Thursday, November 19.
The Schools Division head recalled when their partner organization established the first temporary learning spaces at Saguiaran Central Elementary School where their displaced children sought refuge to continue their education.
Marawi Central Elementary Pilot School Principal Ramla Radia further remembered that the same organization pursued the opening of the temporary learning school in Brgy. Sagonsongan in 2018 and until now still operational.
“The Save the Children, pangalan pa lang [with just their name], they saved our children after the siege. Our school, the Marawi Sagonsongan TLS took all the IDP learners from the most affected area,” she said.
Radia detailed that the Save the Children – Philippines has already done so much for the city schools division and this pandemic, it still went on with its program benefitting not only children but also educators and parents.
Accordingly, some of the organization’s prior activities were the distribution of hygiene kits, conducting training involving parents, food assistance, and teachers’ five-day training access to quality education ensuring mental and psychosocial health, among others. Recently, it also turned over save-back-to-school kits comprising 23 sets of students’ tables and chairs, and some blackboards and teachers’ tables under its program dubbed SinDAO: Protecting Learning in Conflict and Complex Emergencies in Mindanao.
With the visible support of the Save the Children – Philippines, the City Schools Division is optimistic that its partner donors will continue their initiatives until the last learner returns to a permanent normal school.
“I hope that until our last child is transitioned to a Marawi permanent regular school, you would still consider in your generous heart to be helping our community until we go back to the normal face of the quality of delivery of education for our Bangsamoro learners,” said Alonto. (CRG/PIA-Lanao del Sur)