DepEd-ARMM to continue reform efforts
John Unson (Philstar.com) - January 7, 2016 - 11:41pm

COTABATO CITY, Philippines - Education officials will continue this year their reform efforts meant to improve even more what was touted in the past as the most corrupt agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

John Magno, ARMM’s education secretary, on Friday said officials of the Department of Education (DepEd) in the autonomous region have had remarkable reform feats in 2015, among them the enlistment of duly licensed, proficient teachers and the removal from the agency’s payrolls of “ghost teachers.”

He said it was in 2015 when the DepEd-ARMM also achieved optimal breakthroughs in implementing education programs assisted by German and Australian benefactors.

The DepEd-ARMM hired close to 3,000 licensed teachers from late 2014 to middle of 2015 to hasten the regional government’s literacy thrusts in far-flung areas in the region.

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

Magno on Wednesday presided over the DepEd-ARMM’s first executive committee conference in Cotabato City, where senior education officials discussed lengthily their reform programs for 2016.

“The meeting was very fruitful,” Magno said.

Magno and ARMM’s incumbent chief executive, Gov. Mujiv Hataman, are jointly overseeing the operation of DepEd-ARMM.

The present ARMM administration also had removed, in a cleansing process that started in 2012, hundreds of “ghost teachers” in the DepEd-ARMM’s old payrolls.

Magno said he and Hataman caught the ire of some small, recalcitrant groups for introducing reforms in the operations of DepEd-ARMM, but continued with their efforts to improve the agency’s operation just the same.

The DepEd-ARMM was notoriously known during the time of past governors as the most corrupt agency in the regional government, plagued with ghost teachers and non-existent schools that served as conduits for releases of regular operation funds from its coffer.

Many non-licensed teachers were taken in, before Hataman got to the helm of the regional government in December 2011, only because they were recommended by politicians.

Hataman first assumed as appointed caretaker of ARMM in December 2011 and was, subsequently, elected as the region’s eighth elected regional governor during the area’s May 13, 2013 polls.

ACIRC ARMM AUTONOMOUS REGION COTABATO CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEPED GERMAN AND AUSTRALIAN HATAMAN JOHN MAGNO MAGNO MAGUINDANAO AND LANAO
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