THE DEPARTMENT of Education (DepEd) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has started assessing the status of education in the region as it prepares a transition plan for the new Bangsamoro, the entity expected to replace the ARMM if the Bangsamoro Basic Law is approved. “This (transition) is a huge struggle (on the part of the agency),” said DepEd-ARM Secretary Rasol Y. Mitmug Jr. during a press conference held in Davao City on Tuesday. He said in the past, documents were not properly turned over to the next administration and there was no basis in developing new plans and programs. Mr. Mitmug said they are now focusing on making sure that documents and all data are in order to ease the transition.
The DepEd chief said they have made significant strides in the sector over the last few years with increased funding from the national government and assistance from international agencies. The peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has also paved the way for the delivery of better education services. “We have been fortunate because the peace process has been holding as this has lessened the incidents of children leaving schools due to the armed conflict,” he said. Among the main education program partners of the ARMM is the Australian government through the Pathways to Peace in Mindanao, the successor of the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM). Other agencies that have been implementing programs on education include Plan International and the United Nations Children’s Fund. — Carmelito Q. Francisco