Saturday, March 30, 2013

MB: Legless Muslim child finally goes to school thanks to education program

By Ali G. Macabalang, published March 27, 2013

COTABATO CITY – Relatives and friends of a legless Muslim kid are all praises to a Bangladesh-founded education program for enabling her to go to school and seek knowledge ordained of her in Islam.

Seven-year old Alibay M. Katua was born with no legs but she has started fulfilling her dream to study in a remote village in Maguindanao where the government has put up the community’s first ever school under the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)-assisted education program, official said.

Katua is one of several thousands of out-of-school youth now studying in community learning centers that have been established in areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao that have no public schools, according to Noor Saada, assistant secretary of the ARMM’s education department.

In February last year, Australia partnered with BRAC, one of the world’s largest non-government bodies, through the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM) to provide learning opportunities for children from far-flung areas in ARMM that do not have public schools, Saada said.

Through the BEAM Project, 410 community learning centers have been established to date, servicing 11,879 students in 301 communities in ARMM, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) said.

In the next four years, an estimated 1,200 pre-primary and 400 primary schools will be set up to provide this unique learning opportunity for more than 42,000 children, the foreign assistance agency said.

It said the BEAM program is a long term commitment of Australia to improve access and quality of basic education especially for the most disadvantaged children in conflict affected areas in Mindanao, with a mission to help improve the participation, completion and performance of Filipino Muslim children in schools and provide learning opportunities for children in remote communities without public schools.

To enable the legless Alibay to go to school without much physical assistance, BRAC-BEAM officials gave her a modern wheelchair.

“The provision of wheelchair to our daughter is a big bonus to our daughter’s realized dream to go to school. Our hearts overflow with gratitude,” Saada quoted Alibay’s mother, Kapisa Katua as saying.


"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)"