PH DepEd: Prioritize schooling efforts for students affected by terrorism

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Near the end of the Battle of Marawi in August 2017, almost half* of the remaining Maute fighters were under eighteen. These children were usually recruited from economically disadvantaged situations and were promised cash in exchange for taking part in extremist indoctrination and military training. It is frightening to see how easily the Filipino youth can be misled into a life of hate and violence. However, these young people choose this path because, in their communities devoid of education, infrastructure, or other opportunities for a better life, see no preferable alternative.

The Filipino's view of the Philippine government is one that is jaded and full of distrust. The reality is that young people from these parts of the country do not expect the government to help them succeed for themselves, so they turn to other means to help them gain societal representation. For out-of-school youth who see little opportunity in legal channels, fundamentalist and extremist groups provide a perceived immediate alternative for a future. By signing this position, you will change that.

This petition will advocate the Philippine Department of Education to emphasize and focus their efforts for affordable schooling in places affected by terrorism and extremist ideologies. Out of all the Filipino children denied the right to quality education, those who live in areas of extremism are adversely affected the most. By providing them a chance at a future, the future generation of the Philippines will realize their ambitions for society through knowledge rather through violence.

This petition urges the Department of Education to:

  1. Create of a ‘terrorism-affected’ classification for provinces to allow the government to prioritize educational and economic initiatives there;
  2. Increase funding by the Department of Education into education efforts into operations in areas affected by terrorism,
  3. Institute scholarships and enrollment quotas for:
  • students from terrorism-affected areas by tertiary-level educational institutes (e.g tech-voc schools, universities);
  • students whose legal guardians have been killed in government counterterrorist operations as soldiers, civilians, or insurgents.

The signers of this petition also urge other private schooling institutions to take initiative and also initiate their own scholarship programs as such.

When this petition reaches more than 100 signatures, it will be presented to Brother Bernard S. Oca of De La Salle Zobel for consideration for support. From then on, it will be forwarded to the Department of Education.

Fight for a more hopeful Philippines. Laban para sa lipad ng lahat.


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