Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Notre Dame Enrollees decrease this SY 2014-2015

Notre Dame of Jolo for Boys Kasulutan

The school administrators of the Notre Dame of Jolo for Boys-Kasulutan (NDJFBK) and the Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls (NDJFG) find both of their students' population significantly dropping this School Year.

Brother Eugene Pius, the administrator of the NDJFBK, notices at least 10 percent decrease. Even though the Notre Dame is still accepting entrants, the administrator believes that it would not affect the percentage.

Brother Eugene Pius

Concurrent to the decrease of the enrollees is the increase of the transferees to other schools outside Sulu.

The administrator attributes this sad situation to the spate of kidnappings. The private schools are having a feeling that the government is not supporting them.

“Some of our students belong to the average family, or maybe more than the average, so probably they have money to pay, so they are subjected to kidnappings,” said Brother Eugene Pius.

Aside from the threats of kidnapping, Brother Eugene Pius sees two other reasons why transferees are increasing: 1) no fee in the public schools, and 2) the decision of the anxious parents.

Because of the increase of transferees, “the morale of the school has to go down. . . . And even the school feels sometimes that it is also subjected to threats,” said Brother Pius.

“And we cannot do much about it because these outside forces, and we do not know who are they, are probably not directly threatening the school but the parents of the students of the school, so naturally, to save their life, they have to transfer (their wards) to other place.”

A classroom in NDJFB

Brother Pius definitely feels helpless about it, “We feel we do not get support from the government officials.”

As an intervention measure, the Notre Dame hired additional securities for the school to secure the students while inside the premises.

“We have to have securities, otherwise the students would be endangered,” said Brother Pius.

The Notre Dame of Jolo for Boys is catering to Grade 7 to 12 in the province of Sulu. The teaching is good, the school supplies and equipment are considerably complete. The only problem perhaps is the peace and order situation.

"My advice is for the government officials to really function, and do their responsibility (in ensuring peace and stability in the province of Sulu)," said Brother Pius.

Notre Dame of Jolo For Girls complete with school amenities

Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls

Enrollees also plummet in the NDJFG, a private and exclusive school for girls in Sulu. It is now down to 800 from 900 students last 2013.

Run by the vicariate of the OMI, the Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls while an exclusive school for high school students, also caters to boys and girls from Grade 1 to 6.

Parents and their children

A son of Dra Farah Jajurie Intimani, together with two other pupils of the NDJFG were kidnapped recently, and release a few days later. The three pupils did not return to the school after abduction.

Notre Dame of Jolo for Girls's picturesque school compound

The school, enclosed in high walls with military and blue guards, looks very safe for students. The school has complete amenities with sprawling buildings to boot. They have their own working school laboratory, which some schools in Sulu lack. The pupils of grade school are free to play after class.

Military Guard inside the NDJFG campus

Some of the students share their experiences during the first days of classes.

Ms Amaani Abdulkhabir and Ms Fairuz Albani, and their friends, all students of NDJFG, said that the school is very strict. They are not allowed to display colored hair, and they need to be neat-looking all the time.

Ms Abdulkhabir said: “Masaya naman sa ngayon. Medyo natatakot din dahil sa mayroong nakikidnap, pero hatid-sundo naman kami. Satisfied naman kami sa paaralan in terms of security.”

Student Ms Abdulkhabir and classmates after class

The students are now wary on the tricycle drivers because of the threat of kidnapping outside the campus. But within the campus, they are feeling safe and secure. They have security guards and blue guards who protect them round the clock. Additionally, military men are there also for the protections of the three sisters who are teachers and administrators of the NDJFG.

Mommy Susan (not her real name), the mother of two students in NDJFG, said she transferred her daughters to Zamboanga City because of the volatile situations in Sulu.

Mommy Susan

“For peace of mind, kasi during the time of February and March, the peak of kidnapping, natakot kami, kasi wala ng pinipili that time. Hindi natin alam, baka ma-timing ang mga bata papuntang eskwela o pauwi, baka makuha nila, kaya nag-decide na lang kami na i-transfer sila,” said Mommy Susan.

The school administrations of NDJFG agreed but said that they had little choices because they were so afraid.

“Di kami pwede mag-prayer rally, mag-rally, mag-ano. Wala, we resort only to prayer and take careful steps, kasi takot ba talaga. Wala kami magawa kundi magdasal, and advice our students and all of us na careful lang, kamaya always,” said Miss Agripina Dime, senior teacher of the NDJFG.

Miss Agripina Dime


  1. Why can't they do any Prayer rallies? Are there sanctions if they do those? They should at least show support and voice out their concerns. If they wait for others to act, then nothing will happen.