BTA Parliament starts public consultations on Bangsamoro Education Code
November 23, 2020

EDUCATION CODE. Member of Parliament (MP) and Technical Working Group (TWG) Chair Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. leads today, November 23 the first of the series of public consultations on BTA Cabinet Bill No. 70, otherwise known as the “Bangsamoro Education Code”. (GALao with photo by ZSDiolanan, Publication and Media Relations Division, BTA Parliament)

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament started today, November 23, 2020 the first of the series of ‘public consultations’ on BTA Cabinet Bill No. 70 or the proposed Bangsamoro Education Code with the presence of academe sector and other stakeholders throughout the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The simultaneous public consultations strategically took place in various locations: Pagana Kutawato Native Restaurant in Cotabato City for Maguindanao; SP Hall in Isabela City, Basilan; Jolo Town Hall Complex in Jolo, Sulu; R and R Garden Inn in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi and at the BTA Extension Office in De Mazenod Avenue, Cotabato City.

Member of Parliament (MP) and Technical Working Group (TWG) Chair Atty. Rasol Y. Mitmug, Jr. led the public consultations in behalf of Panel Chair and Minister of the Ministry of Basic Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE), MP Mohagher Iqbal. MP Mitmug served as main moderator during the activity.

In his message, Iqbal emphasized the MBHTE is aware of the challenges and they recognize that ‘our education standards are not at par with the national standards’.

“We lack essential school facilities, especially in remote areas, and our teacher and personnel development as well as management systems need improvement. Undoubtedly, the BARMM government needs to solve these issues when the education sector is seriously affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we will soon improve and strengthen the region’s education system if the Parliament approves the Bangsamoro Education Code,” Iqbal said.

Accordingly, the Bangsamoro Education Code is one of the six (6) critical legislations mentioned in the Bangsamoro Organic Law or Republic Act 11054.

“This document signifies collective vision for an inclusive, balanced, relevant, and effective educational system in the BARMM. The code essentially defines the authority and responsibilities of the BARMM, the education stakeholders or community, the general public, and all interested parties to develop accessible and quality education in the Bangsamoro. This code will shape relationships for effective collaboration among all education stakeholders in the Bangsamoro region,” Iqbal added.

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Furthermore, Iqbal highlighted seven (7) principles that will guide the BARMM Government, particularly the MBHTE, in governing the Bangsamoro education system.

“You can find these principles in Chapter 3, Section 6 of the proposed Bangsamoro Education Code,” he emphasized.

First, the Bangsamoro Education Code will ensure inclusivity wherein all learners, regardless of beliefs, cultures, ethnicities, genders, needs, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds will have equal access to quality education. Second, the BARMM government will ensure that the system is equitable, or it will guarantee access to educational services and opportunities for all. Third, it is part of the government’s obligation to protect the right to receive quality education, and it will treat the said right as an act of justice. Fourth, through the Education Code, the Bangsamoro education system is rooted in the diverse contexts of learners, educational institutions, and communities, including the historical narrative and aspirations of the Bangsamoro People, the Indigenous People, and Christian communities. Fifth, it will ensure that the Bangsamoro education is balanced or anchored on a holistic approach to give importance to a learner’s intellectual, spiritual, psychological, and physical growth. Sixth, the government will establish an integrated education system so learners can seamlessly enter one type of learning stream and graduate from another. And finally, the government will reinforce Moral Governance, or the application of ethical values, in managing the education system.

“Using these principles as a guide, the MBHTE will strengthen the education system and pursue the timely delivery of education and learning services in the region,” Iqbal further added.

The Education Minister stressed that improving ‘education system’ is not the government’s sole responsibility, but the ‘whole education community play a role in this area’.

“Our goal is to develop a strong partnership between the BARMM government and various stakeholders across the region. That is why we are conducting this public consultation, so members of the education community can share their insights to enhance the draft and ensure its passage in the Parliament. I am confident that we can work together and cooperate towards providing quality, inclusive, and relevant education to our children so that no Bangsamoro child will be left behind,” Iqbal emphasized.

Meanwhile, position papers are expected to be submitted on November 26, 2020. (GALao, Publication and Media Relations Division, BTA Parliament)

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