Aussie gov’t pours biggest education investment in ARMM

MORE than 500,000 children in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao will have better access to education as Australian government through its Agency for International Development (AusAID) poured 93.5 million Australian dollars or 3.927 billion pesos to the region through the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao-ARMM.

During its program launch, OIC- Governor Mujiv Hataman said that BEAM- ARMM manifests his administration’s commitment to education reform.

BEAM-ARMM, the single biggest donor education investment in the country, covers the five provinces and two cities of the region and will be implemented for 72 months or six years.

There is no project that is in the heart of President Aquino than BEAM-ARMM. This means so much not only to ARMM, but to the whole Philippines for it aims to close all gaps.

Hataman noted that in the 23 years existence of the education department in ARMM, it is only now through BEAM- ARMM that the agency was directly involved in the program design, development and approval.

Mohammad Noor Saada, the region’s education assistant secretary, said that the project has four components that will each be separately implemented by an international non-governmental organization.

The first component, Early Childhood Education, he said will be implemented by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). The second component, Essential Health Care Program, will be implemented by GIZ and Fit-for-School. The third and fourth components, namely Vocational Technology Education and Alternative Delivery Model, will have Cardno and Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (Brac) as its implementing partners respectively.

BEAM- ARMM targets the most disadvantaged children in the region and will provide training to and capacitate 20, 000 out-of-school-youths in the region.

Through this, the Australian government hopes to contribute to the building of better education system that will contribute to peace.

The BEAM-ARMM is a “symbol of friendship between the people of Mindanao and the Australian government.”

During the launching, Hataman,  Lusitro, education regional secretary Jamar Kulayan, signed the Memorandum of Subsidiary Agreement (MSA) of the BEAM- ARMM program.

The MSA is the implementing arrangement on how the program will be executed by the autonomous regional government, the DepEd- ARMM and how the Australian government through AusAID will support its implementation.

Hataman noted that he is “optimistic that BEAM-ARMM will play a crucial role in bridging the transition to a Bangsamoro system of education.”

Education reform is one of the three key pillars of Hataman administration.

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