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Philippine News Digest 77

June 1, 2004 · 


-Death squad strikes anew

-Indigenous kids suffer racism in schools

-School woes the same year in, year out

Death squad strikes anew

Four persons, including a 12-year old boy were killed by motor-cycle riding gun-men over the weekend in Davao City even as city police chief Conrado Laza stood firm on his earlier pronouncement that there was no death squads operating in the city. The series of vigilante-style killing momentarily stopped at the start of the election campaign in February. In January, ten persons who were allegedly involved in crimes were killed. The existence of death squads in Davao City has been the subject of Preda’s alternative report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva last year. Source: Anthony S. Allada, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1 June 2004 and report from Preda.

Indigenous kids suffer racism in schools

Forty to fifty percent of indigenous children drop out of school before graduation because they fail to assimilate with their classmates due to racism in textbooks as well as the government teacher’s biases against “minorities,” according to an exploratory study commissioned by Tebtebba Foundation and conducted by University of the Philippines Professor Raymundo Rovillos. The trend is more peculiar in the Southern Philippines where indigenous peoples are segregated from mainstream communities. It also revealed that language is key to integrating indigenous children into mainstream society but formal education discourages indigenous school children from using their culture, their languages and their customs in accessing rudimentary lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic. Source: Vincent Cabreza in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, 9 June 2004.

School woes the same year in, year out

The same problems like late enrollees, lack of teacher and classrooms marked the first day of classes in public elementary schools June 6 despite the hiring of new teachers and 1,620 new principals and additional budget of P2 billion to build about 5,000 new classrooms. The number of students in public schools increases by five percent a year because many were transferring from private schools. The Department of Education expects about 5.2 million students in public high school to return to school when the school year for the secondary level opens on June 21. Source: Report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer


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