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Agusan Norte builds school for Mamanwa, Manobo learners

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The provincial government of Agusan del Norte, under the leadership of Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante, has allocated P5 million for the construction of a school building for tribal learners in Sitio Zapanta in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte.

The Department of Education (DepEd) will provide chairs, blackboard, and other supplies, as well as assign teachers to handle classes in the school.

The 544th Engineering Battalion of the Philippine Army will be responsible for the construction of the five-classroom school building and the development of the area. The local government of Kitcharao will also extend support to the project.

The provincial government of Agusan del Norte, Philippine Army, Department of Education, and members of the inter-agency local partnership broke ground on the site for the construction of a formal school building in Sitio Zapanta, Kitcharao. This facility will bring quality education closer to IP learners. Photo courtesy of PLGU - Agusan del Norte.

Recognizing the importance of quality education for the indigenous peoples (IPs) in Sitio Zapanta and to address the challenges and inconvenience of the IP learners and their parents traveling at  high cost to distant areas for education, Gov. Amante considered the urgent need to establish a decent local educational facility in the community that caters to the needs of the IP learners.  

“We will provide for your needs in education, but please cooperate. I am appealing to each one of you to protect our equipment and all the development activities in your area so that we can easily finish the construction of your school building,” the governor said.

Provincial Governor Ma. Angelica Rosedell M. Amante appealed for the commitment of the members of the IP community to protect their place at all times, especially during the construction of the school building. Photo courtesy of PLGU - Agusan del Norte

According to 29th Infantry Battalion (IB) commanding officer, Lt. Col. Cresencio C. Gargar, the project stands as a testament to the commitment of the provincial government, the military, and various stakeholders to empower the community of Sitio Zapanta through accessible and quality education.

“The school building serves not only as a physical structure but as a symbol of hope, progress, and resilience for the people of Sitio Zapanta,” Gargar said.

Datu Carlos Biog, a tribal leader, adhered to the call of the governor, saying, “Ako ug ang akong banay magtinabangay aron mapalambo ug matagaan ug maayong edukasyon ang among mga anak, ug ang sunod pa nga henerasyon ,” Biog promised.

[We will unite for the development of our area and to give our children and the next generations the education they need].

The sitio of Zapanta, as the home of the indigenous peoples from the Mamanwa and Manobo tribes,  holds a significant history as a former guerilla base of the communist terrorist group (CTG).

“The valley has undergone a transformative journey through the collective efforts of the 29IB, the provincial government of Agusan del Norte, the local government of Kitcharao, and various other agencies,” 1Lt. Jade Bryce G. Buñe, 29IB civil military operations officer, shared. (NCLM/PIA-Agusan del Norte)

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