The Tarbiyyah Committee presented the First Strategic Plan on Bangsamoro Education and Culture Development to Asatidz (Madrasah teachers) of Southern Mindanao on March 19, 2017 at the Audio-Visual Room of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.
Around 250 Azatidz including some Madrasah education stakeholders from the City of General Santos and Sarangani Province were present in the event that was organized by the local Tarbiyyah Committee.
Conceptualized in 2002, the strategic plan was crafted starting in 2015 by the 19 members of the Tarbiyyah Technical Working Group (TWG) with the support of Bangsamoro Development Agency, UNICEF and BEAM-ARMM.
The plan is anchored on the 1976 GRP-MNLF Tripoli Agreement which stated that the “Authorities of the autonomy in the South of the Philippines shall have the right to set up schools, colleges and universities, provided that matters pertaining to the relationship between these educational and scientific organs and the general education system in the state shall be subject of discussion later on.”
Another legal basis is the Section 1 of Article XV of Republic Act 6734 which stated, “The Autonomous Region shall establish, maintain and support a complete and integrated system of quality education and adopt an educational framework that is meaningful, relevant and responsive to the needs, ideals and aspiration of the people in the region.”
Section 2 of the same article further stated, “The regional educational system shall develop curricula that are relevant to the economic, social, political, cultural, moral and spiritual needs of the people in the region.”
The TWG said that the plan is attuned to the needs and aspirations of the Bangsamoro for an education suitable and appropriate with their cultures and beliefs.
The team also said that during the consultation workshops that were conducted, there were impressions that there is lack of Aqeeda in the current education system and lack of Taqwah among leaders in the education sector.
Among the problems identified during the consultations were the following: Parents and the learners little knowledge on the value of education: State acted violence and aggressions to Bangsamoro since 1968 to present; Inaccessibility of schools; Deteriorating quality of education in the ARMM; Low education performance due to teaching inefficiencies, and mismanaged resources; and Fraud and corruption.
The stakeholders of the consultations hoped that the Ministry of Bangsamoro Education will be realized in the envisioned Bangsamoro Government.
They envisages a “Balanced and quality education for all,” having a “Reputable, distinctive, dynamic and equitable educational system which adheres to local and global standards.”
They further hoped that the Bangsamoro education system will develop versatile Bangsamoro human resource equipped with revealed and acquired knowledge, respect to diversity, gender sensitive and committed to service and excellence and will produce graduates that are competent in both Arabic and English languages.
If realized, the Bangsamoro Education Ministry shall consist of seven bureaus namely Islamic Education, Higher Education, Basic Education, Science and Technology, Culture & Heritage, Arts & Sports and Administrative & Finance.
“Once the Bangsamoro Autonomous Government will take place, and peace and order become stable, it is expected that an influx of international aid will come in, local and foreign investments will soar-up that will lead to a quantum improvement in the economy, so that the needed budget for the education can already be easily met,” the crafters of the strategic plan stated.
The Asatidz were thankful for the efforts of the TWG for coming up with the essential plan to advance the Bangsamoro Education.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the MILF in 2014 seeks the establishment of the autonomous Bangsamoro government with more fiscal and political powers through the enactment of a Bangsamoro Basic Law by the Philippine Congress.
Currently, the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission is drafting another version of BBL or an enabling law where the provisions of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front will be incorporated.