ARMM to address problem of flooded schools in Maguindanao
COTABATO CITY- The Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will work to address the perennial problem of flooded schools in the province of Maguindanao, its top official said Monday following a site visit of some areas still submerged in water.
ARMM Education Secretary Jamar Kulayan personally headed a team from the department that inspected 10 flood-affected schools in the towns of Kabuntalan and Northern Kabuntalan.
“After this inspection, we will make a plan and report to address the problems of the schools in Maguindanao. We will submit it also to the (DepEd) central office,” he said.
Mr. Kulayan said one of the viable solutions they’re considering is elevating the school buildings in areas regularly visited by flood.
Classes in some schools are still ongoing despite the flood. All in all, DepEd-ARMM has identified 35 schools in at least 13 towns to be worst affected.
Thirteen-year old Kalzim Kulim, a 5th grade student of Katidtuan Elementary School in Kabuntalan town, said they have grown accustomed to the regular flooding in their area. “Kahit mahirap ang byahe papunta ng paaralan, okay lang. Basta makapasok lang kami,” he said.
Kalzim huddled with 276 other pupils from different grade levels as they hold class in an open space, not reached by floodwaters. A son of a fisherman, the young Kalzim believes that education is the key to his dream to be like his teacher one day.
Mr. Kulayan personally witnessed the daily hardship faced by residents in the area especially the teachers and students, who have to take the banca to move around even within school grounds.
Bai Tina Dilangalen, 51-year-old teacher at the Balong Elementary School in Northern Kabuntalan, said in her 28 years of teaching, it was the first time that the education secretary of ARMM went to their school to know their situation.
“Masaya po kami dahil ngayon lang kami napuntahan ng opisyal dito at mas lalo pang nakakatuwa ang pangako na tutulungan ang aming paaralan, matutugunan na rin ang mga problema namin dito,” she said. (Bureau of Public Information)