April 8, 2013: Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe and Mr. Rahib Kudto, President of the United Youth for Peace and Development (UNYPAD) signed the grant contract for “The Project for Construction of Classrooms for Lapok Elementary School” on 19 March 2013. The project, amounting to US$ 108,544 (approximately 4.2 million pesos), is funded through the scheme of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
During the armed conflict in 2008, Lapok Elementary School ceased operations due to displacement of families and destruction of school facilities. With the improvement of the peace situation in the area, the school re-opened in 2009 with classes held in makeshift classrooms. As the residents of the community slowly returned to their homes, the number of pupils continues to increase resulting to overcrowding of these makeshift classrooms that are already deteriorating. Multi-grade classes are also being conducted due to lack of classrooms.
Through the GGP, Lapok Elementary School will be funded for the construction of six (6) new classrooms equipped with armchairs, blackboards and sets of tables and chairs for teachers. The new classrooms shall provide a better learning environment for 429 pupils from Barangay Lapok and nearby communities.
The project is part of the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), the Japanese government’s package of assistance in support of peace and development in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.
(News retrieved from: http://www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp/pressandspeech/press/pressreleases/2013/50.htm)