Lianga, Surigao del Sur--- “I strive hard to finish school and help my family because I know that Communist NPA Terrorist-influenced areas find it hard to prosper. We wish that a DepEd school will be constructed here in our sitio,” said Jackyboy Salinas, a young resident of Sitio Simowao (Kilometer 9), Diatagon, Lianga Surigao Del Sur during his speech at the closing ceremony of the 3rd Lianga Youth Leadership Summit (YLS), Sunday (December 8) at the 9th Special Forces “Hounds’ Company, 3rd Special Forces “Arrowhead” Battalion headquarters in St. Christine, Lianga, SDS.
Out of 95 YLS participants, 8 participants from the conflict-affected IP Community of Kilometer 9 joined for the first time. In their problem tree, root cause analysis workshop, they identified the issues that greatly affects the youth in their community--- Quality education, and Insurgency were the some of the issues identified.
Salinas, a product of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Development (ALCADEV), and his fellow YLS graduates, who are currently secondary school students, said that it would be better if IP DepEd schools be established. Some of the ALCADEV and (Tibal Filipino Program of Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) graduates find it hard to transfer to other DepEd schools because their papers are not valid and are non-accredited.
The reason why Communist-influenced militant groups hamper the educational intervention of DepEd in conflict areas is because their schools, TRIFPSS and ALCADEV will become irrelevant and will die a natural death. Most of the IPs when asked, wanted to transfer to the DepEd-accredited IP government schools once these become readily available in their sitios,” Colonel Allan D Hambala, 401ST Infantry Brigade Commander, said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education (DepEd) said that they will include Kilometer 9 as a beneficiary of their Last Mile School Program to address gaps in isolated, disadvantaged areas and to offer a far better quality of education than the Alternative Learning Center and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) and Tribal Filipino Program in Surigao del Sur (TRIFPSS) non-DepEd accredited and alleged NPA-linked schools.
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