Cotabato City—The Bangsamoro Government will invest much on developing human capital through basic, tertiary, and technical education.
This year, the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has been allocated P19 billion in administrative and operational budget and support funds, which constitutes the biggest pie in the region’s 2020 P 65-billion Regional Expenditure Program (REP).
The MBHTE-BARMM said it was expecting one million enrollees this school year, as it opened the region’s public-school system to a “blended learning mode” by which teachers engage learners in both online and print instructional modules.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Al Hadj Murad Ebrahim said the Bangsamoro Parliament delved into the constitutional and legal bases of assigning the highest budgetary priority to education in the region, as provided under the Bangsamoro Basic Law (Republic Act 11054).
MBHTE Minister Mohaguer Iqbal said in addition to his agency charged mainly with the education welfare of the region's Moro and non-Moro children and youth, Ebrahim has also tasked other BARMM ministries into “collaborative efforts,” by designing and “implementing programs and projects in support to the region’s educational framework.”
“Today, the future of education of the Bangsamoro begins. Yes, we have done many of the activities, but then, we have not done things as we have programmed it now with the Flagship Programs of the (MBHTE),” Ebrahim said at the launch here Monday of new and enhanced regional education programs.
“As far as the MBHTE is concerned, I can’t think of no greater injustice than cheating our children of their potentially bright future, when valuable resources are siphoned-off due to unethical practices,” Iqbal said.
Ebrahim said the MBHTE-BARMM with the support of other agencies is tasked to ensure that “no Bangsamoro child is left behind in terms of education.”
The regional government has sworn-in 1,165 newly hired licensed teachers, and soon terminated the services of the so-called “provisional teachers,” who do not possess the required eligibility for mentors.
Iqbal said the termination was a tough decision the leadership of the BARMM education agency had to make, it being one of the “old lingering issues that have unjustly affected the Bangsamoro people in the last two or three decades. (But) at the same time, (we are) taking a humanitarian step to cushion the impact, especially economic for the affected brothers and sisters.”
Haron Meling, chief of staff of the MBHTE, said new licensed teachers have been appointed as permanent or regular employees of the Bangsamoro education sector in the payrolls of the education ministry.
Iqbal said as concurrent member of the Bangsamoro Parliament, he and other members sponsor the allocation of funds for 1,100 study grant slots for the Bureau of Higher Education (BHE) Scholarship Program “which will be equitably distributed to the component provinces and cities of BARMM.
Known as IQ Study Grant, the college or tertiary scholarship program is tailored-fit for Moro high school graduates who have above-average intelligence-quotient (IQ), “(possibly) genius,” said Professor Alih Sakaluran Ayub, a nominee-director for the MBHTE BHE
Director Ruby Andong of the MBHTE Technical Education Skills Development Authority (TESDA, said scholarship programs also include 7,000 slots for technical education and vocational (TEV) training, also for Moro youth in all areas of the region.
Iqbal said the development of the Islamic Tahderiyyah Curricula for early and secondary values and lessons is funded by the government of Japan, through the UN International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) and Talaynged Foundation Inc. (TFI) and Tarbiyyah.