REPATRIATED — Fifteen (15) returning Filipino students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) arrived safely in the country following the cancellation of classes as announced earlier by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Education. (Photo courtesy of the Office of MP Abduladzis M. Esmael)
COTABATO CITY — Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Member of Parliament (MP) Abduladzis M. Esmael assisted some fifteen (15) Filipino students from Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Islamic University sent home as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia suspended classes of all schools amid Novel Coronavirus global pandemic crisis.
The returning students arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport last June 27, 2020 where they are currently under quarantine at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan in compliance with the national Covid Control Policies.
The repatriation of the students took place following the directive of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education to suspend classes of all schools, universities and educational institutions indefinitely until further notice, as part of its major efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Earlier report stated that the decision was a continuing move of the Kingdom’s wise leadership’s interest on the safety of students, both local and international. At present, provision of appropriate alternatives for continuing distance learning is currently being taken care of.
MP Esmael said proper coordination is now being undertaken by the Bangsamoro government’s Ministry of the Interior and Local Government (MILG) together with his office and the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) to further facilitate the needs of the stranded Filipino students while waiting for the result of their PCR tests.
Earlier, MP Esmail wrote a letter addressed to Chief Minister Ahod B. Ebrahim thru MILG Minister Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo. Part of the letter says, “the needs of the students and all other Bangsamoro coming from other countries must be given priority to establish an standard protocol to address their concerns. We are expecting more students and OFWs to come in the near future. Let us all look at this as a concern of our own family. We all want to be safe and be with our families. At this point in time, the Bangsamoro people must feel the presence of the Bangsamoro government”.
The decision to suspend school in the Kingdom may call for an immediate action from the local governments. The BARMM on its end is addressing this concern as significant numbers of its citizens working abroad are expected to come home in the next few days.
Accordingly, some of the students are expected to return to Saudi Arabia tentatively in February 2021. (GALao with reports from the Office of Member of Parliament Abduladzis M. Esmael)
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