251 New Schools To Be Built For Indigenous People

This year, the Department of Education (DepEd) is planning to build 251 schools in Mindanao area to help the Indigenous People (IP).

Education secretary Leonor Briones said the schools, which will provide 605 classrooms, will be funded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) while the DepEd will provide the 583 teachers.

Biones broke down the targeted areas, number of schools and teachers in the Mindanao area. They are (area – number of schools – number of teachers).

  • CARAGA – 75 – 198
  • Davao Region – 69 – 147
  • Soccsksargen – 50 – 135
  • Northern Mindanao – 39 – 82
  • Zamboanga Peninsula – 18 – 21

Butch Rufino, the DepEd Assistant Secretary for IP Education said this will be the first time of the government to provide new schools for the lumads in one go. Briones, on the other hand, noted that schools will be based on the cultural preferences of the lumad communities.

“The structure, the designs of  the school buildings will be identified by the cultural preferences in the different communities. It will not be subjected to the standard designs of the elementary schools because (lumads) are the keepers of our culture, living expressions of our tradition and culture of the country,” said Briones.

Briones also added that she will be reviving the IP Education Office for the concerns of IP schools. She will also appoint an assistant secretary for the alternative learning system education as well as the strengthening of the Madarash education for Muslim school children.

Audie Perez, the Regional IP focal person, said this move will be great from isolated people because they won’t have to travel long just to go to schools.