Marihatag, Surigao del Sur – ‘Indigenous Peoples (IP) Education and countering NPA recruitment in the countryside in the new normal are a shared responsibilities’ as various sector join hands in the Balik ARAL Project on October 24 in the recently established DepEd IP School of Living Traditions (DepEd) at the conflict-affected Sitio Locnudon, Barangay Mahaba, Marihatag.
Inter-sector collaboration between the youth group, Propelling Our Inherited Nation through our Youth, Inc.(POINTY), Marihatag LGU Liga ng mga Barangay, the Andap Valley Eagles’ Club of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, Municipal Social Welfare and Development, GMA Kapuso Foundation, 7th Special Forces Company, 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion, parents and teachers organized the ARAL (Attaining Reliable and Accessible Education for IP Learners) project to aid IP learners amid the pandemic.
Andap Valley Eagles’ Club and Liga ng mga Barangay President, Honorable Nilson D. Malasarte said that the local government is doing its best to make ends meet as far as education in the new normal is concerned.
“The government provided you with DepEd-SLT and all the materials needed by learners. DepEd is doing its best to assist you, what we need from you (parents), is your dedication and cooperation to ensure that your children will learn what they need to learn in school. We all share the responsibility for our children’s learning education,” Malasarte said.
About a hundred bags and school kits from GMA Kapuso Foundation were distributed to the IP learners from Sitio Locnudon and Sitio Andap Valley of barangay Mahaba, Marihatag. Each bag contains pencils, crayons, pad papers, notebooks, sharpeners and erasers. A printer ink and bond papers were donated by the Andap Valley Eagles’ Club to aid teachers in printing modules.
Local teachers residing in the barangays and parents also work together to assist children in learning their modules and are using the newly established DepEd-SLT facility built by the Army provided that physical distancing measures and COVID-19 health protocols are observed.
DepEd closely coordinates with the Army in delivering modules to the hinter-barangays and sitios to protect them from being harassed by Communist NPA Terrorists.
Communist NPA Terrorist-linked Tribal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) was ordered to stop its operations and was replaced by these DepEd-SLTs as per request by IP leaders and the community.
Lieutenant Colonel Joey B Baybayan, 3SFBn Commanding Officer expressed his gratitude to GMA Kapuso Foundation, Andap Valley Eagles’ Club, POINTY Inc. and Marihatag LGU in contributing to provide quality education of IP learners despite the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Malasarte added that aside from education, it is also our responsibility to protect the children from being recruited by NPA terrorists.
“The reason why we provide education for our children is because we want them to dream of becoming professionals someday. We dream for our children to become teachers, soldiers, doctors who can help us to improve our way of life that is why we should also protect them from being recruited by NPAs. This is why we give them the right education. Let that be our motivation,” Malasarte ended.