Marawi mayor: Education a priority for Maranao kids

MARAWI City Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra has vowed to make education a priority for Maranao children once the rebuilding of the city gets under way.

Gandamra said he will focus on educating the children of Marawi to make sure they will not get recruited to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis)-linked extremist organizations.

Gandamra said he will also monitor madrasahs and institutions that teach Islam.

"Once Marawi is rebuilt, I will give focus on children's education sa pagtuturo sa ideloogy na wag tularan ang ginawa ng Maute nang sa ganun hindi sila mapasama sa ganitong grupo," Gandamra said.

He added, "We will engage the services of Ulamas, our religious leaders, para nang sa ganun ay maituro sa ating youth ang totoong teachings of Islam, because Islam is a religion of peace, at itong ginagawa ng mga Isis-inspired group ay hindi po iyan sang-ayon sa aming paniniwala, relihiyon. Lahat naman ng relihiyon, Kristiyano man o Islam, ay hindi naman for violence, kundi for peace."

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has stated that some children in Marawi look up to the Isis-inspired terrorists.

The AFP, however, said measures are being done to counter radicalism among the Marawi youth such as psychological and stress debriefing sessions.

Gandamra also stressed the need to regulate the Islamic school institutions in Marawi, after authorities earlier reported that these institutions were infiltrated by radical groups and which teach children to fight and rebel against the government.

Gandamra said he will regulate all the religious establishments in the city as this could be used as a tool to influence the Marawi youth.

"We will also regulate yung pagpasok ng mga establishments of different religious groups, like for example, ang Madrasah, we will guide them, kung saan po pumapasok ang ating kabataan, itinuturo yung Islamic values, iguide at regulate nang sa ganun ay hindi mapasukan nang mgaganitong grupo, mga Isis-inspired groups," he added.

The mayor, who temporarily holds office in Iligan City, said the Maute group is now only holding on to a small part of Marawi City and said he is hopeful the war would end soon.


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