By Ali Macabalang
SAGUIARAN, Lanao del Sur – For Aina Sania Alauya-Bayanan, immediate practice of law after passing the latest bar exam is secondary to her continued service as public school teacher to students currently staying at a refugee camp here after displacement from the intense fighting in war-torn Marawi City.
The Bureau of Public Information (BPI) of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BPI) featured Bayanan’s humanitarian option in its latest press statement dispatched to media outlets Friday.
Bayanan, 30, was rejoicing after taking oath as new lawyer in Manila alongside fresh bar passers on May 22, but her joy vanished when she learned in media reports that jihadist militants laid siege to Marawi City the following day.
“I was at the peak of joy because finally I became lawyer. My sacrifices in studying law while serving as teacher paid off. But my intent to end my teaching career and shift to full-time law practice waned in the face of fighting and mass displacement in my home-place,” she was quoted as saying in the BPI statement.
Like almost all of the 250,000 residents in the war-torn city, science teacher Bayanan and her students at the Marawi City National High School had fled to different safer grounds.
Courtesy of intervening groups and individuals, Bayanan and most of her 40 students have been reunited at the designated evacuation camp in this adjacent town where she continued to teach them in one of seven temporary learning spaces (TLS) in tents built for displaced youth to pursue studies last June.
The seven TLS tents are among 11 units erected by the ARMM’s Department of Education in six municipalities for a total of 3,289 school children and 122 teachers, more than half of whom are sheltered here.
Bayanan said she opted to “continue sacrificing, this time for the sake of the continuity in the schooling of displaced students and in reciprocation to my benefactor. My stance is very challenging, but rewarding,” the new lady lawyer was quoted as saying.
By benefactor, Bayanan was referring to the ARMM program dubbed “Empowering the Bangsamoro Region through Active Community Engagements” or EMBRACE, which provided her scholarship in hectic schedules to study law at the Mindanao State University (MSU)-Marawi main campus and at the same time teach at the national high school in downtown proper.
When asked if she would resign as a teacher and shift to full-time law practice, Bayanan replied: “As of now, I would prefer to continue teaching because my students need me most this trying time. I hope to practice law when life has returned to normal in Marawi City.”
Tags: Aina Sania Alauya-Bayanan, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, bar passer, Bureau of Public Information, Education, Manila Bulletin, Marawi, New lawyer opts to continue teaching Marawi evacuees, teachinge