The Department of Education (DepEd) has ordered the permanent closure of at least 55 lumad schools operated by the Salugpongan Ta’Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Incorporated (STTICLCI).
The formal suspension came four months after their permits to operate were suspended for allegedly teaching “left-leaning ideologies.”
On Tuesday, in a statement, DepEd Davao regional office spokesperson Jenielito Atillo said that the suspension order was not solely based on the school’s alleged links with the NPA, but on its failure to comply with government requirements.
She also added that the suspension was based on reports from National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon that these institutions were encouraging students to rebel against the government.
Upon investigation, Atillo revealed that the said institutions also bring students away from their homes without parental consent, adding that they are being used to generate funds, and the teachers are unlicensed.
However, DepEd assured the students of STTICLCI that they will not be affected by the closure since there are at least 33 DepEd-run schools adjacent to Salugpongan schools in various parts of the region.
The Salugpungan schools were established to give indigenous groups in remote areas access to education.
Its first school was established in Bukidnon before it spread across Mindanao.