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COTABATO CITY (SDN) — Lawyer Haron S. Meling, deputy minister of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) recently led the turned over of a new 2-storey, 10-classroom school building to the Special Geographic Area (SGA) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Meling did not fail to recognize the people of Kibayao’s contributions to the Mindanao peace process, saying they have sacrificed so much during the height of the Bangsamoro struggle.
He also emphasized the importance of preserving the gains of the GPH-MILF Peace Process. GPH-MILF stands for Government of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The GPH-MILF peace talks took 17 years of protracted and internecine negotiations, characterized by on- and off-again process featuring major and minor shooting wars between the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippines National Police (AFP-PNP) and the MILF combatants in Central Mindanao.
At last, when the GPH chief negotiator was a lady, Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, and her counterpart in the MILF, Mohagher M. Iqbal, the obstructing peace dam was pierced, leading to the signing of the CAB on March 27, 2014.
As a result, a generally peaceful and stable environment is being felt in the BARMM, with the Bangsamoro government headed by Chief Minister Ahod Balawag “Al-Hajj Murad” Ebrahim able to implement much-needed development programs and services.
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 SGA’s 63 barangays or villages that voted “Yes” in a plebiscite in February 2019 to be under the Bangsamoro government jurisdiction.
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.
MBHTE: education for all Bangsamoro children
School buildings have been sprouting in the various areas of the Bangsamoro region, thanks to the education ministry.
To add to much-needed classrooms in the autonomous region, one of the BARMM’s 15 primary ministries, the MBHTE has been constructing school buildings as well as hiring teachers and non-teaching personnel.
Headed by Minister Iqbal, the twin actions are part of the MBHTE’s reform agenda to raise the equality of education in the region.
One of the latest to be constructed, was recently turned over by the MBHTE to Kibayao High School (KHS) in the SGA in Carmen, North Cotabato. The province of North Cotabato is not part of BARMM but 63 of its barangays are with the regional government by virtue of the plebiscite.
SGA Development Authority Administrator Butch Malang, who was also in the activity, said that “education can transform an individual to become productive citizen for his/her community.”
“This can only be safeguarded if the young generations will possess the Moral Values (correct Aqeedah), a vision sealed with unity through communication, patience, and sacrifice for the interest of common good,” Malang emphasized.
Words of gratitude for the creation of BARMM resulting to this beneficial project were explicitly expressed by SGA Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Edgar S. Sumapal, Al-hajj.
This event was also graced by other esteemed guests from the MBHTE Regional Office, Schools Division of SGA, and Local Government Unit officials.
The BARMM government is working on the philosophy that “No Bangsamoro learner shall be left behind in education”.
Also part of the MBHTE’s reform agenda is the distribution of IT equipment, tools, school supplies, Teachers’ Kits, Learners’ Kits, and others needed by the region’s schools divisions.
Earlier this year, Iqbal led the delivery and distribution of this assistance to schools in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi worth around Php80 million, more or less. (✓)