DepEd denies ‘barring IDP children from school’ yarn PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 June 2016 11:38

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

The Division of City Schools under the Department of Education (DEPED) Friday refuted an on-line news report insinuating that “hundreds of displaced children living in shelters in the city were barred from attending school after the city government failed to forward school records” to the agency.

Dr. Basilio Uy of the Division of City Schools said DEPED can never bar or prohibit students from attending school in reference to a report entitled “Displaced children in Zamboanga barred from school, says human rights group” and posted online by a news network.

However, he admitted opening of the composite school at the Masepla Annex Elementary School is delayed as records of school-aged children temporarily housed at the 3 transitory sites in Mampang are being evaluated and validated by the DEPED in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to determine the exact number of teachers and classroom facilities necessary for deployment to the school.

For those who cannot wait for the opening of the Masepla Annex Elementary School, the parents have already enrolled them in adjacent schools per advice of the DEPED, according to Uy.

The CSWDO recently submitted a list of 433 school-aged children temporarily housed at the Masepla transitory site. The list is now being validated to ascertain the number of teachers and classroom facilities needed.

Uy said even with a delayed opening of school in Masepla, the education of the students will not be affected as adjustments will be made in the number of school days.

Composite school means mixing students from different schools in one classroom but their grades and records will be forwarded to their mother school or school where they came from before the outbreak of the 2013 siege.

On the other hand, Uy said the DEPED is closely coordinating with the city government in the provision of the educational needs of the internally displaced persons.

One of the challenges faced by DEPED is the indefinite date of IDP movement from the transitory sites to their permanent houses, he added.

The online news report states that “hundreds of displaced children living in shelters in Zamboanga City were barred from attending school after the city government failed to forward their school records to the Department of Education, according to U.S.-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch. These children come from families who fled fighting between the military and a faction of the rebel group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Mindanao.” — Sheila Covarrubias