An educator in the Philippines has been killed as a direct result of the government's militarisation of schools and repression of education for indigenous people in the country. The teacher, who was leader of a school set up for and by indigenous communities in Surigao del Sur, was gunned down along with his cousin.

As we reported earlier this year, because of the lack of publicly funded education, many peasant and indigenous communities have set up their own schools. These schools are now subject to attacks, in particular by the military, including using them as military bases, and as spaces for a counter-insurgency campaign. This is particularly directed at communities who are standing up to mining, logging and agribusinesses. The counter-insurgency campaign has resulted in the criminalisation of resistance, including the killing of thousands of activists and leaders.  

The Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) has been leading the campaign against the government's militarisation of schools. In a statement about this latest atrocity it says: 'We join our fellow educators and of the people of Surigao del Sur in mourning the death of an educator for the people and their leaders and stand firm with them in calling for the immediate prosecution of all perpetrators. Elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines together with their paramilitary components, the Bagani Force, continue to wreak fear and threat to life against the true servants of the people.'

Like teachers and students in too many parts of the world, those in parts of the Philippines risk their lives just to teach and learn. We send our solidarity and deep sympathy to the ACT and the school communities who are mourning this latest attack.