The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has remained steadfast in implementing the Special Emergency Education Recovery Program (SEERP) in 31 conflict-affected schools in Maguindanao.
The program, initiated under ARMM’s Humanitarian and Development Action Program (HDAP), is carried out through the region’s Department of Education (DepED).
Based on DepED-ARMM validation, a total of 12,215 students were affected by the conflict brought about by the Mamasapano incident in January 2015.
Also, an assessment conducted by the HDAP early this year involving 10,457 students in 31 schools in Maguindanao first division bared that 5,389 are malnourished and slow learners.
“Under the program, we conducted activities to help and encourage students to go to school,” Bai Taya Aplal, SEERP focal person, said.
Aplal said her office conducted a series of training and capability building for school principals, teachers, school nurses, guidance councilors, and school planning officers.
Under the SEERP, DepED conducts psychosocial support services, psychosocial first aid, food supplementation – two snacks and a lunch – and declaring the beneficiary institutions as “Salam” (peace) schools.
“Through SEERP, students are motivated to go to school. The psychosocial support services alleviate the physical and physiological attributes of the affected students and the community and parents help us too in sustaining the supplementary feeding activities,” Aplal said.
Apart from Mamasapano, other identified conflict-affected municipalities in Maguindanao include Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Datu Salibo, Talitay, Talayan, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Guindulungan, Datu Piang, Rajah Buayan, Datu Unsay Ampatuan, Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, Datu Abdullah Sangki and Datu Odin Sinsuat.
The ARMM has allocated PHP13.2 million for the implementation of the special education recovery program and its support services.
The ARMM-HDAP is an initiative of ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman on efforts to implement government assistance, specifically on rehabilitation and reconstruction.