- POSTED: 25 Sep 2013 16:51
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Classes finally resumed in Zamboanga on Wednesday after almost three weeks of suspension due to the ongoing standoff between Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels and government forces.
ZAMBOANGA: The residents of Zamboanga are picking up the pieces and trying to go back to their daily lives.
One sign of the tentative return to normalcy is the reopening of schools.
Classes finally resumed on Wednesday after almost three weeks of suspension due to the ongoing standoff between Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels and government forces.
149 out of 205 public schools reopened on Wednesday but only a handful of students were able to be present.
At the Santa Maria Central School, only 39 out of 4,000 students were able to go to school.
Nevertheless, authorities believe the resumption of classes signifies the readiness of the city to resume normalcy amid the ongoing battle between the MNLF rebels and government troops.
Mar Roxas, secretary of the department of interior and local government, said: "Slowly, life is going back to normal in many parts of Zamboanga City. If there are those still doubting and are not sure of what we are fighting for, just look at the children and it will be clear to all of us of what we are fighting for here."
The first day of classes saw teachers engaging their students in play therapy classes, to help them to be able to express their thoughts and feelings amid the ongoing conflict.
Rizalino Rivera, undersecretary of the department of education, said:
"Psychologically, this is a way of impressing upon the children that "I am okay", "I am fine", and that "I am able"… to do things in the midst of such crisis because otherwise, they might just fall into the victim mentality and feel helpless."
The military said it is only a matter of time before the rest of the remaining MNLF rebels will be captured by government forces, and for the children of Zamboanga to be able to go back to their normal lives.