By ALI G. MACABALANG
Bangsamoro Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal, assisted by stakeholders, sounds the gong to signal school classes in BARMM at a symbolic rite in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao on Oct. 5. (Photo supplied)
MBHTE officials led by Minister Mohagher Iqbal staged the ceremonial flag-raising rite, highlighted by his sounding of a gong to signal the formal opening of classes.
The ceremony was held at Sitio Tenorio in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao, which the MBHTE and stakeholders undertook with the theme: “Maging Ligtas, Mag-aral! Tuloy ang Pag-aaral kahit nasa bahay.”
“As a response to the (COVID-19) pandemic, we resorted to alternative, home-based learning modalities where the parents or guardians shall also educate their children,” Minister Iqbal said in his ceremonial message.
Iqbal explained that the ‘new normal’ is a challenge to everyone especially to the teachers who are at the forefront of delivering education services to the people.
He said the ministry will overcome the demands of the new normal with “combination of grit, the resources available to us, the principle of Moral Governance as the driving force, and the cooperation of stakeholders.”
Fernando Landol, a security guard and a father of a Grade 10 and a college student, witnessed the ceremony to say that amidst the Covid-19 crisis, “he still decided to send his children to school because he worries about their future,” the Bangsamoro’s Bureau of Public Information (BPI) said in a statement.
“Pinagsisikapan ko na makapag-aral sila at makapatapos dahil nagbabakasakali ako na makakuha sila ng maayos na trabaho,” Landol was quoted as saying, with optimism for the MBHTE to provide quality education amid challenges in the pandemic
Minister Iqbal assured that his ministry has been exerting appropriate steps to “safeguard our teachers, parents, and students’ welfare in these trying times.”
Iqbal also announced that the MBHTE was given a sum of P189-million, earmarked for the expenses of its various projects.
He said that the fund came from the transition development impact fund of several Members of the Parliament.
“Each MP is required to choose from among the ministries where to put that money for the benefit of the constituents of the BARMM, and Alhamdulillah, many of the MP have put up their money to fund the various projects in MBHTE,” Iqbal said in the BPI statement.
Citing data from the MBHTE, the BPI said the education ministry had enrolled as of the end of September a total of 666,856 broken down at 611,347 in public schools and 55,509 in private institutions. (AGM)