DepEd transfers school duties to BARMM ministry

COTABATO CITY—The Department of Education has officially transferred the management and supervision of the City Schools Division to the Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE).

The turnover on Tuesday also effectively integrates into the Cotabato City Schools Division all public schools in 63 barangays of Cotabato Province that have opted to join the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the plebiscite in February 2019.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones foresaw a “fruitful partnership (in) working together, (in) considering the national interest, as well as the historical, cultural and distinct identity of BARMM, expressed in its system of education.”

TURNOVER. DepEd Region 12 Director Allan Farnazo and MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal show off the school turnover documents at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, Bangsamoro Government Center in the city. Photo courtesy Bangsamoro FB Page
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim vowed his government will be fair to Christians, Muslims as well as members of the Indigenous Peoples’ Tribes among the region’s teaching personnel.  

“I have no doubt that we [MBHTE and DepEd] will have a rich and fruitful partnership. We will be working together and be considering the national interest as well as the historical, cultural, and distinct identity of BARMM expressed in its system of education,” Briones said via a video message.

In the turnover ceremonies, DepEd Region 12 Director Allan Farnazo handed over documents to MBHTE Minister Mohagher Iqbal at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, Bangsamoro Government Center in the city.

In his acceptance speech, MBHTE Minister Iqbal assured that the ministry will observe the principles of moral governance towards improving public performance, delivery of education services, and reducing gaps in the Bangsamoro education sector.

Board Member Kelly Antao, administrator for the 63-barangay Special Geographic Area of BARMM, said the turnover was everybody’s triumph for peace and the future of education for the succeeding generations.  

Lydia Udaundo-Mastura, head of the Transition Task Force on Education, said a continuing success is also made up of challenges akin to tasks and responsibilities, beyond administrative and operational management of the turned over schools and schools division.

The Bangsamoro Information Office (BIO) said the Cotabato City Schools Division Office (SDO) turned over a total of 83 schools of which 43 are public, 39 privately run, and a state university/secondary school. Meanwhile, North Cotabato turned over 103 schools composed of 85 elementary and 18 secondary schools.

Also included in the turnover is the functional supervision and human resource management of the City Schools Division’s over 2,195 teaching personnel and more 2,380 teachers in North Cotabato’s 63 villages

Farnazo also represented Briones in the formal signing of the instrument of turnover between the DepEd-National and MBHTE Minister Iqbal.

Briones also stressed that the educational environment of the BARMM will be a “subsystem of the national government’s educational system characterized by synergy and interconnection.”

“This is indeed a very happy day. Today’s ceremony is a day not just of a transition but also of integration, unity, and peace,” Briones added.

“It is timely that this turnover is occurring while we are finalizing the Bangsamoro Education Code,” Iqbal said, adding that the Code is one of the priority legislations the Bangsamoro Transition Authority needs to pass during the transition period.

Being a concurrent BTA Member of Parliament, Iqbal has also filed the bill for the legislation of the Bangsamoro Education Code.  

“As long as we set aside our narrow interests and prioritize the welfare of the Bangsamoro education community and the general public, I am confident we will make significant and positive changes to the BARMM education system,” Iqbal added.

Chief Minister Ebrahim said “there is nothing to be afraid of, and the strongest asset the people can get from this entire process, is collaboration.”

“With MBHTE and DepEd standing side-by-side, we are assured that this transition will not be difficult, and I promise you that there will be no discrepancy on the part of our teachers, in shaa Allah,” said Ebrahim. The MBHTE also distributed teaching kits to attending teachers.

Topics: Department of Education , DepEd , Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic , Higher and Technical Education , MBHTE , Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao , BARMM
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