By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
The Department of Education (DepEd-National) has now officially completed the transfer since Monday the management and integration of the DepEd Cotabato City Division, along with schools from 63 barangays in North Cotabato, to the Bangsamoro Government’s Education Ministry, the Education Minister said.
Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) told the Philippine Muslim Today that Schools Division Office (SDO) of DepEd-Cotabato City turned over a total of 83 schools of which 43 are public, 39 private, and 1-State University/secondary school.
Meanwhile, North Cotabato turned over 103 schools which comprised of 85 elementary and 18 secondary schools, Iqbal said.
Of these schools, 2,195 teaching personnel are from Cotabato City division and 2,380 are from North Cotabato Province.
Regional Director Allan Farnazo of DepEd-XII handed over the turnover documents to Education Minister Iqbal during a ceremony held at Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, Bangsamoro Government Center in the city recently.
Farnazo represented DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones for the formal signing of the instrument of turnover between the DepEd-National and MBHTE Minister Iqbal.
“I have no doubt that we [MBHTE and DepEd] will have a rich and fruitful partnership. We will be working together and be considering the national interest as well as the historical, cultural, and distinct identity of BARMM expressed in its system of education,” Briones said via a video message.
Briones also stressed that the educational environment of the BARMM is going to be a subsystem of national government’s educational system characterized by synergy and interconnection.
“This is indeed a very happy day. Today’s ceremony is a day not just of a transition but also of integration, unity, and peace,” Briones added.
Meanwhile, MBHTE Minister Iqbal ensured in his acceptance speech that the ministry will observe the principles of moral governance towards improving public performance, delivery of education services, and reducing gaps in the Bangsamoro education sector.
“It is timely that this turnover is occurring while we are finalizing the Bangsamoro Education Code,” Iqbal emphasized, adding that the code is one of the priority legislations the Bangsamoro Transition Authority needs to pass during the transition period.
“As long as we set aside our narrow interests and prioritize the welfare of the Bangsamoro education community and the general public, I am confident we will make significant and positive changes to the BARMM education system,” Iqbal added.
On the other hand, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod “Al Haj Murad” Ebrahim underscored that “there is nothing to be afraid of, and the strongest asset the people can get from this entire process is collaboration.”
“With MBHTE and DepEd standing side-by-side, we are assured that this transition will not be difficult and I promise you that there will be no discrepancy on the part of our teachers, In Shaa Allah,” said Ebrahim. JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL