By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
The Bangsamoro regional government’s Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education (MBHTE) will be using a ‘blended learning’ approach for school year 2020-2021 to ensure that the educational services in the Bangsamoro region will not be hampered amid shifting to the ‘new normal’ brought by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Bangsamoro Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim said “MBHTE is now leading a massive shift from the traditional face-to-face classes to blended learning modes” to ensure that teaching and learning continue despite the circumstances that affect normal school operations.
It can be recalled that ‘blended learning’ is part of the MBHTE’s Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) for the upcoming school year. This includes distance learning, home-based learning, and module learning designed for far-flung areas in BARMM.
Chief Minister Ebrahim and Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal led the official launching of the ministry’s six flagship programs for year 2020-2021, which include:
1.) Abot Kaalaman sa Pamilyang Bangsamoro (AKAP) Programs intended to provide contextualized K to 3 education access to unserved barangays;
2.) MBHTE Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) Review Program, to be conducted in partnership with the Office of the Chief Minister;
3.) Tahderiyyah Curriculum Program for Madaris Education that provides a balanced education of Bangsamoro children with groundings on Islamic tenets and values;
4.) Recruitment of Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) Teachers;
5.) Scholarship Program for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET);
6.) Access to Higher and Modern Education Scholarship Program (AHME-SP), also known as the Bangsamoro IQ Scholar which complements higher education scholarship, subsidy, loan, and similar programs implemented in the BARMM.
Complete details for the application on the above-mentioned programs will be announced on the MBHTE’s official Facebook account.
“I am confident that the flagship programs launched here today can also be implemented under any given circumstances, and hopefully become significant tools in redefining the importance of education in our region, In Shaa Allah,” the chief minister said.
The said programs, which are aligned with the MBHTE’s 12 key priority areas, are designed to enhance the Bangsamoro educational system under Basic Education, Madaris Education and Islamic Studies, Higher, and Technical Education and Skills Development.
Ebrahim recalled that the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) provides that education shall be the top priority of the Bangsamoro Government.
“The Bangsamoro Government shall develop an educational framework relevant and responsive to the need, idealism and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people. Therefore, when we say education is our priority, it is driven with legal basis and shared vision of the Bangsamoro,” he emphasized.
“We need to strengthen the academe in order to produce minds that can eventually help the region in attaining its utmost potentials be it in madrasah, in technical, or in mainstream education,” he added.
Minister Iqbal stressed that immoral practices that have obstructed the development in the region, such as corruption, in any form, is unacceptable in BARMM.
“As far as the Education Ministry is concerned, I can think of no greater injustice than cheating our children of a potentially bright future because valuable resources are siphoned off due to unethical practices,” Iqbal said.
“To mitigate the impact of our efforts to improve the status quo, the Ministry shall exhaust all legal means to ensure a proper transition process. No doubt, we will consider humanitarian factors in our decision-making,” he said.
“However, to protect our children’s welfare and secure the future of the Bangsamoro nation, we cannot compromise integrity, good governance, and the rule of law,” he added.
Meanwhile, the education ministry has announced recently its humanitarian assistance for the provisional teachers and temporary employees affected by the cease and desist order it issued under Memorandum Order No. 154 released last March 11 which provides that, ‘Provisional Appointment as defined in the 2017 Omnibus Rules on Appointments (ORA) and Other Human Resource Actions (OHRA) (Revised July 2018) shall not be effective beyond the school year during which it was issued.’
Iqbal said BARMM will allot some P1.9 million for the laid-off teachers and incoming applicants as contractual services. “These provisional teachers will be re-employed [if they wanted to] with a salary of P15,000.00 per month and some additional Php5,000.00 annual funds for administrative assessment activity,” Iqbal said.
Part of the allotted budget include appropriation of P10-Million for free-LET review for the provisional teachers; request the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to conduct special examination for teachers; and, as approved by the Office of the Chief Minister (OCM), will hire them for one year as contractual of services. (With BPI-BARMM)