Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Feature: Confronting critical challenges in Madrasah management

By: USec Ustadz Alzad Sattar

(Message delivered during the Madrasah Program Implementation Review and Workshop conducted by the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM – ARMM) Project and the DepEd-ARMM Bureau of Madaris Education (BME), on February 28 to March 02, 2014, at the at Cecil’s Pension House, Tumaga Porcento, Zamboanga City. In attendance were administrators and principals of the 26 BEAM – ARMM assisted Pilot Madaris.)

Listening to your impressions and learning insights, I am glad to hear that you have learned many things during the 3-day workshop. Our objective is simple - to make you more effective and efficient in the exercise of your functions and responsibilities as administrators and principals . This is the main reason behind why, as much as possible, we don’t allow proxy in any of our activities. Participants should be the one who is directly responsible as administrators not represented by anybody to ensure that he or she can discharge the functions properly. We believe that you can do better by personally attending the workshop rather than just sending your representatives.

As observed, this bad practice contributes to the ineffectiveness of the pilot madaris management. We consider it, in fact, as a waste of time, effort, and resources as it will not contributory to the sustainability of the management. And we don’t’ want to repeat the same mistakes. That is why we always make sure those who will attend the activities are those who were sent invitations.

There was a time, sometime last year, when we conducted a write-shop cum on the Manual of Operations in Cagayan De Oro City, a group of fellows suddenly arrived and wanted to join the program. We asked them, did you receive an invitation? No, we just overheard it from our fellows and we would like to attend. I replied, "Hinahangaan po namin ang inyong pagkainterasado sa aktibididad, ngunit, ipagpaumanhin nyo po, hindi kayo kasali sa programa" (We appreciate your interest in the activity, however, we are very sorry, you are not included in the program). So they went home at their own expenses.

At any rate, given the knowledge and skills you acquired for the past 3 days, my first challenge now to all of us is to practice what we have learned. It is not just enough to say we learned a lot, but we have to put it into practice for our pilot madaris to improve and soar high. The knowledge on project proposal, for example, is a good step for you as administrators to look for funding and donor agencies who can help in improving your pilot madrasah needs and priorities.

This will lead to the second challenge – resourcefulness and networking. As administrators, you need to be resourceful. Don’t wait for the ‘hulog ng langit’ (manna from heaven), because this is very rare. You have to do something on your own and use your initiative. Effective administrators and managers know how to connect with people especially the community and the LGUs. So strengthen your relationship with them by showing to them that you are doing it for the benefit of the children and the community. You have to keep in mind you exist for the community not for your own interest. You just need to establish integrity to gain their trust. The moment you have their trust, I am pretty sure, you will gain their unwavering support.

Just a word of reminder, you have to make clear to the LGUs your relationship with them is not a political one and no string attached.You need to support each other because you have shared responsibilities to educate the children so that together you both contribute to the peace and development of the community. Therefore, I advise you not to side any politicians, otherwise, your madrasah will suffer the consequences.

The third challenge is let us aim for excellence and quality. Quality management and quality education should be at the top of our vision-mission coupled with moral fineness and selfless commitment. Pilot madaris should be at far with other private educational institutions, if not today as we are just starting, but maybe in the near future. Once, we achieve quality management and quality education we will produce quality leaders with excellent leadership who will lead the Bangsamoro homeland in their own chosen field of specializations. After all, this is what Islam wanted us to do – aim for excellence and work for quality. A’isha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrated as reported by Al-Bayhaqie that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, once said: “Allah loves His servant who does things with perfection.”

Finally, let us be reminded that we should always check our intention. We are doing anything in order to gain the pleasure of Allah not for the sake of fame, glory, and material benefits. For, if we do, we will not and we will never succeed in our undertaking. Without sincerity, for sure, we cannot withstand the challenges that we faced and we will be encountering and consequently we out rightly give up. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, accordingly once stated “Whoever does something for Allah’s sake, his actions will be long lasting. However, whoever does the opposite his work will be in vain.” It goes without saying, our work will die a natural death.

May Allah Almighty grant us sincerity in all of our undertakings.

"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)"