Marawi City and BARMM have always been close to my heart. I have nurtured a very deep affection for the Muslim people from my childhood to the present.
Two weeks before the opening of classes, on May 23, 2017 bullets and extremism tore down the beautiful City of Marawi.
While the armed conflict shut down our schools, it did not deter us from our mission to deliver quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education to all Filipino learners wherever they are, and regardless of the circumstances. As I have said time and again, we should always guarantee that whatever happens, education must continue. Upon my instruction, the displaced learners of Marawi City numbering about 30,000 were then admitted in all public schools around the country.
Two months after its liberation, DepEd, together with our partners, conducted a series of Brigada Eskwela activities in the city. We are grateful for the support of people and organizations whose passion for education enabled our affected learners and personnel to dream again and to look forward to learning as their link to normalcy in the present and hope for the future.
Three years after the Marawi Siege, we face another daunting challenge—the COVID-19 Pandemic. Since the confirmation of its spread, the global community has been gripped with fear, grief, and despair. The disease has profoundly affected societies as it changes the way we work and live. For this, DepEd has prepared a Learning Continuity Plan to guide basic education as we transition to the new normal.
We recognize that it will not be easy to change the way we teach, learn, and manage. There will be criticisms and birth pains. But as we have stood strong amidst the myriad of challenges that beleaguered the education sector, we remain confident that no challenge is insurmountable, for as long as we continue to work together for the future of the Filipino learners – our future leaders and nation-builders.
This is our hope and strength that we share with our family, friends, and colleagues in Marawi City.
SECRETARY LEONOR MAGTOLIS BRIONES
Department of Education