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More campuses to reopen in Marawi

Children in makeshift learning facilities are regularly supplied with nutritious meals by the Department of Education – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the World Food Program and Philippine humanitarian organization Gawad Kalinga.

LANAO DEL SUR  , Philippines  —  Repair work for school buildings damaged by the conflict in Marawi City has started and more campuses are expected to reopen soon in areas now secured by authorities.

The effort to restore the school buildings is supported by Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra and the local district engineering office, according to the Department of Education – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) regional education secretary John Magno.

Classes in more than a dozen schools in Marawi have resumed after President Duterte announced last month that state security forces have cleared all of its barangays of Maute and Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

The DepEd-ARMM is targeting the initial repair of at least seven schools near what became the main battle area during the five-month siege and has earmarked P34 million for this, Magno’s deputy Alfhadar Pajiji said.

Authorities have also approved the reopening of the Matampay, Tampilong, Datu Saber, Basak, Amai Pakpak and Pandi Elementary Schools.

The five-month hostilities displaced at least 60,000 elementary pupils and high school students.

Magno said 22 schools in the main battle area were badly damaged.

Thousands of the displaced schoolchildren are attending remedial classes in temporary learning sites located in safe areas.

“The executive department of ARMM is doing its best to address the problem. The national office of the DepEd is also extending support toward that end,” Magno said.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman announced last Monday that the regional government will allocate P930 million for rehabilitation projects in Marawi City.

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