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US donates educational materials to BARMM

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The Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) of the Bangsamoro Government has received close to P10 million worth of early grade reading materials in Maguindanawn language from the US government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

MBHTE Minister Mohaguer Iqbal, and two other education officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, received the reading materials written in Maguindanawn for schoolchildren in Maguindanao and elementary and preschools in the 16 villages comprising the BARMM Special Geographic Area, a statement from the US Embassy said on Tuesday.

BARMM Deputy Education Minister Haron Meling said the turnover took place in Davao and the Bangsamoro team was composed of Minister Iqbal, Director-General Abdullah Salik Jr. and himself—and with USAID-Philippines Acting Director for Education Office, Yvette Malcioln joining virtually the handover event in Davao City on February 10.

The US Embassy statement said the materials will benefit nearly 100,000 children from Kindergarten to Grade 3 and more than 2,000 teachers in the region.

The digital version of the translated materials will also be uploaded to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) website for Magindanawn children in other parts of country to access.

“As education systems continue to rebuild amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USAID will continue working with partners to mitigate learning losses, equip educators and institutions to be more resilient and adaptive to the current situation, and ensure children have continuous access to quality education,” said USAID Philippines Acting Office Director for Education Yvette Malcioln at the handover event in Davao City on February 10.

Minister Iqbal expressed the regional leadership’s sense of gratitude to the U.S. government for extending the assistance package of learning materials for the welfare of the Moro children.

He assured that the MBHTE is guided by its working principle that “No Moro child shall be left behind.”

 “We are grateful that our partnership with USAID, RTI International, and DepEd has resulted in a successful undertaking to improve our children’s reading comprehension through specially-designed and quality-assured early grade books in Magindanawn,” said Minister Iqbal.

 USAID’s support to Magindanawn learners includes training 40 local Bangsamoro writers, illustrators, editors, and evaluators to develop early grade reading materials; developing and distributing 77 books in Magindanawn; and translating or adapting 45 titles into Magindanawn.

Through its ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines project, USAID has distributed more than 9 million early grade reading materials, including books in various mother tongues, to over 600,000 students and 42,000 teachers.  In partnership with DepEd, the project aims to ensure young children in the Philippines will continue having access to quality education and learning, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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