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COTABATO CITY — As part of its reform to raise the quality of education for learners, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) hired more teaching and non-teaching personnel on Thursday, June 29, 2023.
BARMM Chief Minister Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim has emphasized that “no Bangsamoro learners shall be left behind,” an indication of the weight his administration places on the importance of education.
The mass signing and oath taking ceremony of the 448 new hires were held here at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC), inside the Bangsamoro Government Center (BGC) Complex, the former Office of the Regional Commission (ORC).
Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal, head of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) led the activity, once again signaling the Bangsamoro government’s seriousness in implementing reforms in the region composed of mainland and island provinces.
Iqbal’s leadership of the MBHTE, one of the regional government’s 15 primary ministries, wants every Bangsamoro family to have at least one professional.
The Bangsamoro region, established in 2018 by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to implement the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB), is made up of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the 63 barangays or villages dubbed Special Geographic Area (SGA) that voted “yes” in a plebiscite in February 2019 to be under the BARMM jurisdiction.
Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Sur, and Maguindanao del Norte are landlocked. Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi are the island components of the BARMM.
According to the Philippine Atlas BARMM has 4,404,288 people. It has 116 municipalities: Basilan, 11 municipalities; Lanao del Sur, 39; undivided Maguindanao, 36; Sulu, 19; and Tawi-Tawi, 11. Its component cities are Cotabato (the regional center and capital) in Maguindanao; Lamitan in Basilan; and Marawi in Lanao del Sur.
Iqbal’s new hires are for the schools divisions offices (SDOs) of the island provinces, having had already hired hundreds of teaching and non-teaching personnel for the mainland or landlocked provinces.
The education minister, a stalwart of the Mindanao peace process with the Government of the Philippines (GPH), underscored that quality education is the bedrock of a peaceful, just, and progressive society.
In connection with this, he urged the new appointees “to strive for excellence in teaching methods, curriculum design, and assessment practices.”
“Continuously upgrade your skills, embrace innovative ways, and stay well-informed of the latest educational advancements. Through your relentless pursuit of quality, we can unlock the full potentials of our learners and empower them to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens,” Iqbal exhorted the new members of the MBHTE family.