Bishop Roberto Mallari of San Jose. PHOTO FROM THE DIOCESE OF SAN JOSE DE NUEVA ECIJA FACEBOOK PAGE
The head of the bishops’ Catholic education body has lamented the government shutdown of tribal schools in southern Philippines.
Bishop Roberto Mallari of the Episcopal Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education said the closure was not the best option if only to address some concerns.
“I am saddened with the closure of the schools instead of making an effort to improve the education system,” he said over church-run Radio Veritas on Wednesday.
The Department of Education in Davao on Tuesday has ordered the permanent closure of 55 Lumad schools in Davao region.
The decision came four months after the agency suspended their operations for allegedly teaching “subversive ideologies”.
The agency also said that the schools run by Salugpungan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Centers also failed to comply with government requirements.
The prelate said DepEd should have considered the fate of more than 3,500 Lumad learners and teachers who will be affected by the move.
The bishop of San Jose in Nueva Ecija also called on students and their teachers not to lose hope amid the closure of their schools.
“I hope that their situation will lead them to hold on to hope instead of giving up,” Mallari said.