Fifty years ago the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was formed by then Islamic and Arabic students based in Cairo, Egypt led by Salamat Hashim, Abdulaziz Mimbantas and several others.
The young Moro aimed to establish a moral government and regain the Bangsamoro’s legitimate rights; including power sharing and job opportunities among others.
Recently, Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MBHTE-BARMM) Mohagher Iqbal appointed a big number of colleges graduates from the Arabic and Islamic educational institutions both local and foreign universities.
The ministry has the largest budget proportion in 2021 that would help it to discharge its mandate and plan for the much needed education to meet the market needs while maintaining God-fearing workforce.
Nearly 2500 Arabic-speaking or “Asatijah” in Jolo, Basilan and Tawi Tawi have benefited from the massive appointment with a considerable monthly retainer of P12,000.
The move was followed by similar number of qualified beneficiaries in Maguindanao and Lanao Del Sur.
This indicated and brought about the good tidings for the thousands graduates in these institutions landing in a decent job opportunities for the benefit of their families and the new generation.
According to a source from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Ragion in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) the move is unprecedented. It never happened in the Bangsamoro history and the Philippines as whole.
The source said, there was only 1100 Asatijah being appointed during the time of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
I do remember when I was teaching while studying in 1984 for only 100 pesos a month.
So far, many Arabic-speaking teachers are still in a surviving status performing their duties mainly for the sake of Islam and its teachings, discipline, peace and healthy community.
Thank to BARMM the MBHTE move has displayed moral objectives where members of the organization molded with both strong spiritual, discipline and physical trained leadership.
Such teachings and principles have indeed paid off providing opportunities for not only Bangsamoro people but also for those who seek a progressive community. Cotabato City and 63 Baranggays are now under BARMM supervision as live example.
Despite the call for corrective measures from among the sector suggesting that the previous Arabic teachers in the pilot or alive madaris should be absorbed.
With long experience in the field and equipped with eligibility requirements they could be very useful and helpful in the ministry’s endeavor to continue their services.
Being myself a graduate of Arabic Literature, major in mass communication from a Cairo-based university, Al Azhar University I highly value and salute Minister Iqbal move and for his high sense of Islamic value and education.
This is tantamount to reviving the dream and objectives of the MILF founding Chairman, the Late Salamat Hashim, Allahu Yarhamuh and the will of Ulama. This is obviously a clear manifestation of what the BARMM termed “Moral” government. AHMT