Australia's education efforts in Mindanao hailed
John Unson (Philstar.com) - December 16, 2015 - 12:21am

COTABATO CITY, Philippines  — The strong cooperation between Australia and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in providing education to thousands of grade school children complements the southern peace process, officials said Wednesday.

The ARMM and the Australian government have current bilateral education efforts in the autonomous region, among them the operation of functional learning centers being implemented by BRAC Philippines, a local arm of a private education system running globally.

BRAC is implementing the Alternative Delivery Model initiative, a component of the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao being bankrolled by the Australian government.

"These learning centers help us maximize our efforts of providing children in far-flung areas quality education,” said John Magno, ARMM’s regional education secretary.

Magno said ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman is addressing extensively the education issues besetting the autonomous region in support of the normalization agenda of President Benigno Aquino III’s peace overture with secessionist Moro groups.

"Education can spawn the cultures of peace and economic productivity among ARMM’s fledgling communities," Magno said.

The Australian Agency for International Development had earlier helped the Department of Education in ARMM (DepEd-ARMM) rehabilitate old school buildings in remote areas in the autonomous region.

Magno and BRAC officials led by project manager Ibrahim Khalil visited last week a learning center in Barangay Pingguiaman in Datu Odin Sinsuat town in Maguindanao to assess the operation of the facility.

"It was doing good, so well and dandy," Magno said Wednesday.

Alibai Benito Aliuden, superintendent of public schools in the first district of Maguindanao, said she is grateful to the executive department of ARMM and the Australian government furthering quality education in remote areas in the province.

"These are the kind of initiatives that will boost the Mindanao peace process, which aims to empower the local communities," Benito said.

Hataman said the continuing interventions of foreign benefactors helping promote the socio-economic welfare of ARMM's culturally pluralistic sectors since he got to the helm of the ARMM government in late 2011 is a big vote of confidence for the regional government.

ALIBAI BENITO ALIUDEN ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY MODEL ARMM AUSTRALIA AND THE AUTONOMOUS REGION AUSTRALIAN AGENCY BARANGAY PINGGUIAMAN BASIC EDUCATION ASSISTANCE DATU ODIN SINSUAT DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION EDUCATION MAGNO
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