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7,000 children get new classrooms in Maguindanao

John Unson (The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2014 - 11:07am

MAGUINDANAO, Philippines - Some 7,000 Moro children in the towns of Ampatuan and Datu Odin Sinsuat benefited from a classroom rehabilitation project of the government and the Australian Agency for International Development.

The P6.5 million project under the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao, was implemented by the parents-teachers associations in the recipient schools, according to the Bureau of Public Information in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Kevin Corbin, BEAM-ARMM’s program team in-charge, and ARMM Education Secretary Jamar Kulayan jointly launched the 30 newly-rehabilitated classrooms in the towns of Datu Odin Sinsuat and Ampatuan, in the first and second districts of Maguindanao, respectively, last Wednesday.

Corbin said they aim to rehabilitate a total of 300 classrooms in Maguindanao by mid-2015 in keeping with their commitment to help improve the schooling environment in far-flung areas in ARMM.

Kulayan said BEAM-ARMM complements their ongoing effort to address classroom shortage in the region.

Kulayan said that in addition to the BEAM-ARMM school rehabilitation project, the region’s education department already allocated funds, on orders of Gov. Mujiv Hataman, for the construction and renovation of more school buildings in the ARMM provinces.

The ARMM covers Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur, which are both in Central Mindanao, and the scattered island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

“We are thankful to the Australian government for its support to the educational advancement of the ARMM's youth sector," Kulayan said.

The DepEd-ARMM, once touted as the most corrupt agency in the ARMM, has generated more than P1 billion savings from funds it received from the Department of Budget and Management in the past two years.

Kulayan and Hataman, who are jointly managing the DepEd-ARMM's treasury, had enlisted the support of different peace advocacy organizations and the Fourth Estate in monitoring the department's expenditures and how it implements costly projects in remote communities.

Hataman earlier announced that they want to have all dilapidated school buildings in the autonomous region repaired, if they can, before they turn over the ARMM to the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which will bilaterally establish the new Bangsamoro political entity by 2015

The MILF-led Bangsamoro self-governing entity will replace the ARMM, based on the October 15, 2015 Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro.

AMPATUAN AND DATU ODIN SINSUAT ARMM AUSTRALIAN AGENCY AUTONOMOUS REGION BANGSAMORO BASIC EDUCATION ASSISTANCE BUREAU OF PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRAL MINDANAO DATU ODIN SINSUAT AND AMPATUAN KULAYAN MUSLIM MINDANAO
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