Sunday, November 25, 2012

DepEd donates education training center to ARMM

Teachers and school administrators from the Department of Education -- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will now have a regular venue to house their trainings specifically to upgrade their teaching and school management skills as DepEd Region 12 transfers to the former ownership of the Regional Education Learning Center (RELC) in Cotabato City.

This is contained in an agreement signed recently between DepEd Regional Director Rosa Gutierrez and DepEd ARMM Secretary Jamar Kulayan.

Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC said the move is a manifestation of the steadfast and continuing support of the national government to improve the standard of education in the ARMM region.

“We believe that this training center will enable the ARMM teachers and school administrators to further enhance their capabilities which will ultimately contribute to the cause of peace in Mindanao,” added Luistro.

The government has recently signed a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that is expected to usher in peace and prosperity in Mindanao.

The RELC is an ideal venue for trainings on the latest teaching-learning strategies as well as for seminars on improving classroom instruction, information communication technology in education, record keeping and data gathering and school management systems, among others.

“We expect the new owners to preserve the property, to use it to serve its purpose, and to optimize its use as an education skills enhancement hub,” Luistro pointed out.

Earlier this week, the Australian government has given a grant worth Aus$85 million to enhance basic education in the ARMM.

“Education and prosperity go hand in hand but first and foremost, there must be peace,” Luistro stressed.


Friday, November 23, 2012

RG Mujiv Hataman accepts challenge of BEAM-ARMM

We accept the challenge of the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM). When we came to ARMM early this year, this program was up for NEDA ICC approval and we gladly accepted the challenge of getting this program approved. I recall how Dr Balisacan of NEDA, Bro Luistro of DepEd Central and I, were able to convince President Noynoy Aquino about the merit of this program. It is also worth-noting that in the 23 years existence of DepEd-ARMM, it is only now and through this program that DepEd-ARMM was directly involved in program design, development and approval.

Today, we sign the Subsidiary Arrangement and launch BEAM-ARMM, considered the largest single donor investment in education in this part of the country. BEAM-ARMM manifests our commitment to education reform. We said that if the DepEd-ARMM problems are addressed, half of the ARMM problems are resolved, simply because ARMM educates more than half a million of its constituency and employs more 21,000 teaching and non-teaching personnel.

For the past ten (10) months we have engaged ourselves in ghost-busting activities going after ghost schools, teachers and enrolment. We have identified and closed ghost schools. We identified and deleted ghost teachers from the payroll. We have monitored schools and ghost enrolment has been reduced by more than 60,000. We are addressing the issue of data integrity squarely.

We want to say to our donor partner AusAID, implementing partners (UNICEF/BDA, GIZ/Fit for School, BRAC and CARDNO), and government partners like DepEd Central, NEDA, DBM, MinDA and LGUs, you can bank on our commitment and action. We have adopted a regional policy on Open Governance and this we will infuse into the BEAM-ARMM program by way of:
  • Our program processes being more transparent and above board. 
  • DepEd-ARMM being more accountable in terms of what is expected of us. 
  • We will be at the forefront of advocating for efficiency so that the maximum return to our beneficiaries is assured. 
  • We will be inclusive and eager to work with partners to insure the best outcome and impact for our program. 

BEAM-ARMM comes at a time when we are in the midst of a transition from ARMM to the new Bangsamoro political entity. We are optimistic that BEAM-ARMM will play a crucial role in bridging the transition to a Bangsamoro system of education attuned to the challenges of the 21st century as well as reflective of our unique heritage and regional milieu:
  • Through UNICEF/BDA, we will support Islamic Kindergarten (Tahderiyyah)/Early Childhood Education in conflict-affected areas. 
  • Through GIZ/Fit for School, we recognize the importance of personal health and its impact on learning and child development. 
  • Through BRAC ADM, we recognize that there will be pockets of communities where the usual school-based intervention will not work for them, therefore alternative delivery modalities will have to be explored. 
  • Through CARDNO, we have interventions to help narrow the gap in school infrastructures, as well as interventions for professional development of our teachers and school heads. We will have additional madaris implementing the ulama-developed and DepEd-prescribed madrasah curriculum. We will have contribution to technology and livelihood education at secondary level. 
  • BEAM-ARMM will also support systems improvement in DepEd-ARMM. 
We realized that the greater challenge with ARMM education is not a question of resource gap. More than the infrastructures, trainings and materials, we are convinced BEAM-ARMM plays a critical role in changing the mindset of our workforce. We are thrust into the position of power and influence to make a difference in the lives of our people. Public service is not a livelihood, but an opportunity to serve.

We thank the AusAID and BEAM-ARMM implementing partners for joining the reform wagon and braving the challenge of education access, quality and delivery in a fragile environment that is ARMM. Together we have the capacity, we have the mindset, and we have the heart to make a difference in the lives of ARMM constituency. Yes, we can! Yes we will! This is our commitment.

Sec Kulayan welcomes BEAM-ARMM launch

Two decades and three years ago, ARMM came into existence on the promise of addressing the aspirations of Bangsamoro to govern ourselves and to serve our own people. That promise remains to this day. Similarly, the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao or BEAM-ARMM was conceived to contribute to the improvement of access to and quality of basic education in this part of the country. Will it meet the same fate? This is the challenge we all need to respond as we sign the Subsidiary Arrangement and launch the BEAM-ARMM Program. 

This program came to fore because of the concerted efforts of government, donor, non-government and implementing partners; telling us that if we can work together, we are half-way to completion. We achieved a remarkable level of cooperation at the program design and development level. We expect each other to keep and raise the momentum of synergy. 

Today, as we launch the BEAM-ARMM Program let us not forget for whom this program is really intended. For all the interventions and innovations we are putting in place to improve management and teaching competence, additional infrastructure and equipment support, and systems improvement, all of these boil down to one thing - ensuring school-aged children are able to access education services suited to their circumstances, stay in school, learning competently and completing their basic education. This is the heart of education reform in the ARMM. 

For the last ten months, the current administration has undertaken and continues to undertake initiatives that will ensure (1) systems and processes are transparent, efficient, engaged with stakeholders and maximized technology and innovation, and (2) education personnel are performing according to established standards, motivated and ethically accountable. The future is not tomorrow, the future is already here inside the classroom. BEAM-ARMM is a tangible manifestation of our collective commitment to make the promise of better future for our children a reality. 

We welcome our partners from AusAID, DepEd Central and other national government agencies; implementing partners of BEAM-ARMM, our ARMM colleagues and media friends. Welcome to the BEAM-ARMM launch. Welcome to DepEd-ARMM!

Usec Varela tours DepEd-ARMM RO

DepEd Central Undersecretary Francis Varela was given an informal and quick tour of the DepEd-ARMM Regional Office prior to the commencement of the BEAM-ARMM Program Steering Committee (PSC) inaugural meeting last 20 November 2012.

Usec Varela visiting the DepEd ARMM Payroll Office with Asec Noor Saada and
Sec Jamar Kulayan briefing him on the current payroll challenges.
(Phto courtesy of Dir Aliah Cali, BME Director)
Usec Varela was abreast of the state of current reforms, especially on organizational development, personnel and payroll matters.

He also had a quick conversation on education programs with Asec Maisara Latiph.

The quick tour was facilitated by DepEd-ARMM Regional Secretary Atty Jamar M. Kulayan and assisted by Asec Noor Saada.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Feature Story: How I became a Peace Advocate

By Ustadz Alzad Sattar, Undersecretary for Madrasah Education, DepEd-ARMM, during the Opening Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) 2012 Summer Course Training at Brokenshire Convention Center, Davao City last May 2012.

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim (In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful)
Peace advocates and peacebuilders… peace be upon us all.

Let me begin my message with my personal experience and how I became peace advocate like you. I grew up in a conservative Muslim family and I studied in a conservative Madrasah (Islamic school) in my beloved province of Basilan. You can now picture out what kind of person I was. 

I was born during martial law period where military who happens to be Christians and rebels who happen to be Muslims fighting each other. Many members of my families and relatives died at that time. Rido or family feud was also prevalent at the time. 

My mother once related to me a massacre incident where my grandfather, my uncle, my older brother and a relative got killed at the same time. My father was shot dead in front of me when I was 10 -11 years of age. In fact, if time allows I can even relate the whole story in detail. 

When I have my tertiary education I enrolled in AB Political Science. That’s where I got exposed to the real situation of the Philippines particularly the Mindanao. The All-Out-War during the time of Erap Estrada administration in 2000 where they ate pork in Camp Abubakr and desecrated the mosque and the Holy Qur’an, followed by the Warrant-less Arrest of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Administration in 2001 against the Abu Sayyaf Group, where majority of innocent civilians illegally apprehended by the military, with all due respect to the good guys of men in uniform, and put them behind bars without due process of law and the situation of Muslims outside world like Palestine where children are killed helplessly created hatred in my heart towards non-Muslims. 

To cut the story short, I became an activist and a radical human rights advocate or Muslims Rights to be specific. During the warrant-less arrest of Arroyo administration mentioned above, I took the cudgel of exposing the human rights violations done by the military through Friday sermons, meetings, fora, conferences and even during my classes as I was then teaching Bill of Rights at the time. To stop me from doing so, men in uniform illegally apprehended me while on my way to school to teach and unjustly branded as Abu Sayyaf. 

After 3 days of persecution I landed in Provincial jail of Basilan and incarcerated for more than 2 months until finally out, through bail bond, despite the fact that there was an order from DOJ national “All Abu Sayyaf Suspects, No Bail Bond Recommended”. In fairness with the judge at that time who was a Christian himself, he did not hesitate to approve my bail after series of hearings. 

The agony did not stop there, it took me more than 4 years to be acquitted from the case. There was even a time when I studied in the University of the Philippines, Diliman for my Masters in Islamic Studies one of my brothers called me up and told me that I need to come home immediately because I have a hearing the following day. I rushed out to the ticketing office and bought a plane ticket and got home the same day, only to find out the hearing is postponed. But believe it or not my dear peacebuilders, what had happened to me was a blessing in disguise in some way or another. 

If you ask me why? The answer is simply, because it paved way to my “paradigm shift” from a radical activist to peace advocate through interfaith dialogue. This was because during my incarceration Muslims and non-Muslims are living in harmony inside the jail. I started to realize that we can live hand-in-hand despite of our differences in beliefs and faiths. So I actively participated in interfaith dialogue and other peace related activities in and outside the country. 

To conclude, I know everyone has a story to tell. But, whatever your story is, be it personal or not, political or not, remember that “THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PEACE.” Peace is everybody’s business regardless of tribes, races, religions and even professions. 

As Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9) I am also reminded of a verse from the Holy Qur’an which says: “O people, verily, We created you from a male and a female (Adam and Eve) and made you into nations and tribes for you to know and understand each other (not to despise one another). Verily, the most honorable of you in the sight of God is the one who fear HIM most.” ( Al-Hujurat, 49: 13) 

Therefore, if we can be friends why become enemies? Let us work one another and make the world a better place to stay not only for us but to include the next generation to come. 

I hope I inspired you all to become more dedicated and committed peace advocates and put aside grudges, hard feelings, and bigotry. After all, we will die, whether we like it or not, sooner or later and we will be accountable to our actions in the presence of Almighty God in the Day hereafter.

Thank you for listening and have wonderful and fruitful sessions until the end of the course.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WB-AusAID PEIR conducts HR and Payroll Workshop

Selected division/section heads and personnel from the administrative bureaus of DepEd-ARMM Regional Office participated in a week-long workshop to improve personnel and payroll operations.

The workshop was hosted and primarily financed by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in partnership with DepEd-ARMM.

Carole Belisario and Jonathan Masalonga, both AusAID consultants served as workshop facilitators.

AMORE SEEd Project expands to Sulu

Four (4) schools in Sulu are among the latest beneficiaries of AMORE SEEd project. Since the start of the school year, the project have covered Maguindanao I, Maguindanao II, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan. The primary consideration for target schools is they are not part of the main electric grid, in short they are off-grid schools.

The package of support consists of solar panels, batteries, television set, DVD player and educational DVDs. 

School and district heads are also trained on its proper maintenance of the facility and utilization of educational television.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today is Sheikh Makhdum Day

Today, ARMM celebrates Sheikh Makhdum Day!

Sheikh Karimul Makhdum is credited as among the pioneers in spreading Islam in the country.

He is also associated with the first mosque in the Philippines, whose four original structures can still be found in a mosque bearing his name in Bohe (Tubig) Indangan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. This structure is a provincial, regional and national landmark.

In 2009, the Lower House approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 99, known as an “act declaring the Sheikh Karimul Makdum mosque, as the first and oldest Muslim house of prayer in the Philippines at Tubig Indanan, Simunul, Tawi-Tawi province, as a national shrine.” The bill was principally authored by Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara. [1]

Like Simunul, a municipality without potable water source save the rain; Sheikh Makhdum weather the initial reluctance to spread the message of Islam. The persistence of these pioneers led to the conversion of about 13 ethno-linguistic and indigenous groups in Mindanao to the fold of Islam. Today, the message of Islam is embraced by more than a billion adherents worldwide.

Sec Jamar Kulayan enourages ARMM constituents to include in their daily prayers a prayer for the peaceful repose of Sheikh Makhdum and to include a line of gratitude for his pioneering effort.

According to RG Mujiv Hataman, the commitment and pioneering spirit of Sheikh Makhdum are the very values require to continue the ARMM reform and improve delivery of public services in the region.

[1] Sheik Makhdum mosque a national landmark -

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

DepEd Tawi-Tawi Participates in the Integration of PHE Coastal Resource Management Lakbay –Aral in Bohol

The Department of Education Tawi-Tawi Division through the representation of its program coordinator Christine T. Sangkula was one of the 20 participants who joined the WWF Lakbay-Aral to the Municipalities of Talibon and Ubay Bohol from October 27 – November 1, 2012. The educational tour for the Project “Integrating Population, Health and Coastal Resources Management Actions in Tawi-Tawi, Mindanao” was aimed at: (1) increasing the knowledge on (population, health & environment) PHE Project; (2) have a learning insights on PHE Project Implementation in the areas visited; (3) Sharing of best practices in Integrated PHE.

In Talibon, Bohol, every cent is accounted for, every barangay has a midwife and corresponding barangay health workers who are paid by the barangay LGU and partly by the Municipal LGU; every barangay has also a birthing clinic that caters to pregnant mothers and every household is identified and monitored by the health workers. The LGU spent millions for the improvement of their rural Health Unit which serves as a mini hospital. Laws are strictly enforced.

Their Interpretive Center displays posters, pictures, maps, artworks, etc that tell a story of Danajon River, and how they manage and protect their coastal resources. The Mangrove Co- Management Area which spans to around 580 hectares serve as habitat for prawns, fishes, crabs and other aquatic species.

“If we take care of our seas, then our seas will take care of our people” the slogan by which the people of Ubay Bohol anchor on in order to protect their coastal resources. They also have dairy farm, coconut seed production center, banana plantation, and a multi- species hatchery to brag about that generate jobs for local folks. Laws are similarly well enforced.

The LGU Governance in the two municipalities was so inspiring that transparency is indeed one of the keys in making a community prosper sans corruption and self gratification. By putting things in its proper perspective, giving importance to the resources and getting people involved in the preservation of these resources; land, sea, natural, etc will undoubtedly make a huge difference in the lives of the constituents. Strong and massive information and education campaigns and advocacies are tools that will help the local government cross the line between and among the people in the community. If only all other LGUs think and act the way these two municipalities then Philippines will not be far from becoming a haven of the “rich and wealthy” people. Rich and wealthy in terms of the resources they have that can be cultivated and be a source of economic stability, prosperity and development.

The commitment, political will and sincere efforts of LGU are likewise essential in the success of any programs and projects that will contribute to a better Philippines; to a WOW Philippines!

Mayors Restituto B, Auxtero, CPA of Talibon and Eutiquio M. Bernales, MD of Ubay, Bohol, together with their staff members were so gracious in welcoming the participants headed by the WWF Project Manager Dr. Filemon G. Romero. Aside from DepEd other participants were LGUs ( Municipal councilor of Languyan and SB Secretary of Sitangkai), WWF project coordinators and staff, youth, and community –based distributors from the Municipalities of Sitangkai, Languyan, and Turtle Islands, partner agencies from Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), Department of Social Works and Development (DSWD), and Provincial Planning & Development Office (PPDO).( tinsangkula/DepEd Tawi-Tawi)

Monday, November 5, 2012

38 pilot madaris qualified for DepEd financial grant

Ustadz Alzad Sattar, DepEd-ARMM Undersecretary for Madrasah Education, recently announced the result of the ocular inspection of pilot madaris. Out of forty-four (44) applicant-madaris, thirty-eight (38) were approved and 6 were under provisional status. 

Qualifying for this program would mean a grant of P5,000 per student per year. Provisional status means, the concernedmadrasah cannot receive the grant unless the needed additional requirements can be complied at a given period. 

The said ocular inspection was a collaborative effort of DepEd Central Office and DepEd-ARMM thru Bureau of Madaris Education (BME). 

Pilot madaris are those adopting the Standard Madrasah Curriculum (SMC) under DO 51, s. 2004 as amended by DO 40, s. 2011 known as Refined Enhancement Madrasah Curriculum (REMC). The said curriculum is a combination of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language (ISAL) and Revised Basic Education Curriculum (RBEC) as follows: 

ISAL subjects 
  • Qur’an 
  • Aqeedah and Fiqh 
  • Seerah and Hadith 
  • Arabic Language 
RBEC subjects
  • English
  • Science
  • Math
  • Filipino
  • Makabayan (Social Studies)
These subjects are offered five days a week, from Monday to Friday. 

Under the DepEd financial grant to qualified madaris, 80% will be used for teacher salaries and 20% for school improvement.

Graduate of these pilot madaris are accepted in any institutions in the Philippines if they transfer or move on to higher level.

The Bureau of Madrasah Education (BME) is calling all interested madrasah operators to avail this great opportunity. You may email Usec Sattar at [email protected] or via mobile number: 09162488717 or 09086389900.

"Moral Governance"

English - "Good governance for a progressive and peaceful BARMM."

Sinama - "Hap pamarinta tudju BARMM na sambu maka salamat"

Bahasa Sug - "Dan mabuntul tudju pa BARMM masambu iban mahatul"

Meranaw - "Mathitu a kandatu sa BARMM ko katagompiya go kalilintad"


"Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE)"