Cotabato City—The education chief of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is hopeful the number of class participation in the region will still increase by 20 percent, after a sharp decline was reported on the first day of class Monday.
Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the BARMM Basic, Higher and Technical Education said the Bangsamoro Government would safeguard the welfare of the students, teachers and parents as they face the challenge of changes in the new normal.
Iqbal made the statement following initial reports on declining turnout in school participation, during the simultaneous nationwide ceremonies of class opening which he attended in Tenorio, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.
MBHTE chief-of-staff Haron Meling said initial reports had shown a less than 50-percent turnout in private school participation, and an overall 70-percent class participation in private and public schools combined.
Iqbal said a 90-percent turnout participation in elementary and high school “will be good enough.”
“I want to assure you that we in the BARMM Education Ministry are establishing a quality, balanced and inclusive education system in the Bangsamoro, Insha Allah. We will safeguard our teachers, parents, and students’ welfare in these trying times,” Iqbal said.
Iqbal said he remained optimistic the region could “overcome the demands of the new normal with the “combination of grit (and) the resources available to us, in the principle of Moral Governance as the driving force, and the cooperation of stakeholders.”
He said amid the pandemic, the region’s education sector had shifted to the alternative, home-based “learning modalities where the parents or guardians shall also have their part in educating their children.”
Iqbal said the ‘new normal’ was a challenge to everyone, especially the teachers who are at the forefront of delivering education services.
Fernando Landol, a security guard and a father of a Grade 10 pupil and a college student, said notwithstanding the COVID-19 crisis, the family still decided to send the children to school, casting worries aside, to ensure their future through education.
Landol hoped the MBHTE could help provide and deliver quality education despite the pandemic.
The MBHTE in BARMM integrates the functions of the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education Skills Development Authority in the national government set up.