In Sitio Lenilitan, Barangay Borongotan, Upi, Maguindanao, a Grade 1 learning center facilitator observed, “the absences of my pupils due to common illnesses such as stomachache and toothache have declined in recent months,” said Arlyn Calantungan. “The promotion of EHCP in our community has paid off.” She stressed that the program paved the way for the T’duray community, the dominant tribe in the area, to rally not just for the education of their children, but also for their better health and well-being.
“The performance of my pupils in terms of attendance and their academics is steadily improving since we started implementing EHCP, including the promotion of deworming among the schoolchildren twice a year. It takes a concerted effort to carry out the Program in this far flung sitio of Upi,” she said, adding that parents, members of the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and the local barangay council work together in the management of EHCP in the area. “The PTA also conducts monthly meetings to monitor the implementation of EHCP at home and in school,” she concluded.
This year, the Australian Government through its Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-RMM) Program, implemented by DepED-ARMM in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) will provide group hand washing facilities to 400 BRAC learning centers and 400 EHCP-implementing public elementary schools across ARMM.
BEAM-ARMM is a comprehensive education and youth development program that enables children and youth in Muslim Mindanao to develop and reach their potential. The Program delivers accessible and healthy learning facilities, quality teachers, learning materials, and a protective environment for children in need and out of school youth, through effective, transparent and accountable management systems. The Program contributes to the alleviation of poverty in ARMM and, in the longer term, to the emergence of sustainable peace through closely targeted investments in basic education that prepare ARMM to engage productively with economic opportunities.