Updated: April 01, 2019 09:59 AM GMT
Tribal children from Mindanao displaced by armed conflict in the region finish their secondary education in a special school in Manila for displaced children on March 29. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
A group of displaced tribal children from the southern Philippines have overcome adversity by completing their secondary education on March 29 far from their homes and school.The children fled to the Philippine capital Manila last year to escape fighting between government forces and communist rebels in Mindanao. The 70 tribal children of the so-called “Bakwit School," or "displaced school," attend their moving up ceremony at the University of the Philippines campus in Manila. Rius Valle, spokesman of the Save Our Schools (SOS) Network, said the event was a "celebration of their achievements despite the difficulties they have faced because of dislocation."The "Bakwit School" was opened in Manila in August 2018 to serve the displaced tribal children and provide them the opportunity to continue their studies away from the conflict. Earlier, the children had been transferred from one place to stay to another provided by academic and religious institutions."We want to make sure that their education continues despite the challenges," Valle said.Data from SOS Network show that at least 85 tribal schools in Mindanao have been closed due to military operations.International child rights group Save the Children says conflict in the southern Philippines has already displaced 76,383 children.The report, released last month, indicated that at least 7,200 tribal children were not able to go to school because of armed conflict.