Australia, ARMM roll out PHP3.6 billion education program in Mindanao
COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has rolled out its P3.6 billion Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao (Pathways), a program funded by the Australian Government.
Pathways is a nine-year program designed to improve the delivery of basic education and contribute to peacebuilding in the ARMM.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop MP, together with NEDA Secretary Ernesto Pernia, OPAPP Secretary Jesus Dureza, and ARMM Regional Executive Secretary Atty Laisa Alamia launched Pathways in March 2017 in Davao City.
DepEd-ARMM Secretary Atty. Rasol Mitmug, Jr. said Pathways would support the Philippine Government’s effort to strengthen its core education services with a focus on institutional strengthening; curriculum, learning, and delivery; teacher management and teaching quality; and policy, planning, and data management.
"With support from Pathways, DepEd-ARMM will be investing heavily in evidence-based programs and approaches in our effort to improve the delivery of basic education in this part of the country," he said.
Mitmug added the program's emphasis is on the K to 3 levels, noting the significance of quality basic education as the foundation for life-long learning.
"We believe that if we equip our grade-schoolers, they will be better prepared for intermediate, secondary, and tertiary education as well as technical and vocational training," he said.
Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley, who attended the program launch, highlighted Australia’s continuing support to peace and development initiatives in the southern Philippines especially in the ARMM.
"Australia is committed to our partnership with the Philippines, a seven decade long bilateral relationship that has gone from strength to strength. Australia remains the Philippines' largest development partner in the education sector,” he said.
Kimberly said that Pathways will build on the gains of Australia's previous programs in the ARMM, will closely engage education stakeholders, and promote innovation in education.
Australia's support to education initiatives in the ARMM is longstanding. The ten-year Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao project was launched in 2002, succeeded by the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao implemented from 2012 to 2017. #