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P3.6-B education program rolled out by ARMM

In an effort to improve the delivery of basic education and contribute to peace-building in the Mindanao, a P3.6-billion education program has been rolled out by the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Australian government.

The Australian Embassy, in a statement, noted that the ARMM has rolled out the Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao (Pathways) – a program funded by the government of Australia.

The “Pathways” is a nine-year program designed to improve the delivery of basic education and contribute to peace-building in the ARMM. It was launched in Davao City in March 2017 attended by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus Dureza, and ARMM Regional Executive Secretary Atty Laisa Alamia.

For DepEd-ARMM Secretary Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., 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, Mitmug said the 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.”

Mitmug added the program’s emphasis is on the K to 3 levels – noting the significance of quality basic education as the foundation for lifelong 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 explained.

Meanwhile, Australian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mat Kimberley noted 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,” he said. “Australia remains the Philippines’ largest development partner in the education sector,” he added.

“Pathways will build on the gains of Australia’s previous programs in the ARMM [and] will closely engage education stakeholders, and promote innovation in education,” Kimberly added.

Australia said its support to education initiatives in the ARMM is “longstanding” — starting from the 10-year Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao project which was launched in 2002, succeeded by the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao which was implemented from 2012 to 2017.

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Australia vows P3.4-B education aid for Mindanao

The Australian government vowed to give AUS$90 million (P3.4 billion) to the Philippines for their Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao program in some conflict-affected areas to advance peace and development. It served as a gesture for a stronger bilateral relationship of the two governments.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced on Friday during the launching of the program that the Australian government will continue to be an active partner of the country in promoting quality education as a way to improve the lives of many Filipinos, especially in areas that are affected by wars.

“The Philippines has long been a trusted and reliable partner and we have worked together in many endeavors to improve the quality of life of the Filipinos,” she said in her remark.

The Pathways program complements the long-standing cooperation with the Philippine Government on peace, stability and education reform and the Australian government is a longstanding and trusted development partner in the education sector for 15 years now.

Australia has previously supported the Basic Education Assistance to Mindanao program from 2002-2009; the Philippines Response to Indigenous Peoples’ and Muslim Education program (PRIME) in 2011-2014 and the Basic Education Assistance to Muslim Mindanao program (Beam-Armm 2012-2017).

First in Mindanao, Bishop also met the alumni and beneficiaries of Beam-Armm, including teachers trained in English, math, and science in support of national implementation of the K to 12 Program; former out-of-school youth (OSY) who are now graduates of technical and vocational training courses and some of the young students of Tahderiyyah centers.

The foreign minister cited that Australia has been the country’s largest development partner in the Philippines in the education sector where they had already assisted about 12,000 teachers and helped around 60,000 children and 11,000 out of school youth who were able to obtain an opportunity to get a job and a living.

The Australian government will be working in partnership with the Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) over nine years to support conflict-sensitive quality basic education services in the ARMM.

This is to ensure that they can assist and teach quality in curriculum development with dash quality and policy development will boost education standards and to people as a partner for government.

The investment that will be poured by Australian government is seen to improve equity and performance in basic education by children in the ARMM to bring prosperity in the region.

“Education is very much a precondition to economic opportunities and economic opportunities are a precondition to peace,” she said.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia for his part in behalf of the Philippine government extended his gratitude for another assistance bestowed by the Australian government which is a great help in strengthening the education program of the Philippines in Southern Mindanao.

“The government of the Philippines would like to sincerely thanks the government of Australia for the continued support to the country particularly for the delivery of basic education to Muslims schools children through the Pathways program which carries forward the success of the basic educational assistance to Mindanao,” he said.

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Australia rolls out new 9-year education program in ARMM with P3.6-billion donation

DAVAO CITY—The Australian government is implementing this year another education program in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for children in their early grade levels to upgrade the learning competencies of schoolchildren in the region.

A fresh P3.6 billion was infused to the Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao (Pathways), a program funded by the Australian government, coming after it successfully implemented two previous programs, the 10-year Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao project launched in 2002 and the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao implemented from 2012 to 2017.

Pathways is a nine-year program designed to improve the delivery of basic education and contribute to peace-building in the ARMM, the program communication dispatch said.

Education Secretary Rasol Mitmug Jr. of the ARMM said Pathways would work on improving the science, math and English language, the core areas of competencies the program would like to strengthen among children enrolled in kindergarten and grades 1 to 3.

“The emphasis is on the K to 3 levels, noting the significance of quality basic education as the foundation for lifelong learning. We believe if we equip our grade-schoolers, they’ll be better prepared for intermediate, secondary and tertiary education, as well as technical and vocational training,” he said.

Pathways would be tested first in some schools and classrooms, as it also tests the result of its training of teachers, the approaches and methodologies to apply. It would be scaled up to all the schools after the piloting of the program.

He 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 [Department of Education]-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.

Pathways was launched here in March last year by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop MP, together with Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia of the National Economic Development Authority, Secretary Jesus Dureza of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and ARMM Regional Executive Secretary Laisa Alamia.

Mat Kimberley, Australian Embassy deputy head of mission and who attended the launching of the program here, said Pathways would build on the gains of Australia’s previous programs in the ARMM, as it would also “closely engage education stakeholders, and promote innovation in education.”

“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’s largest development partner in the education sector,” he said.

The program communication said Pathways would be implemented by a consortium of “Palladium, a global leader in the design, development, and delivery of positive impact; the Australian Council for Educational Research, a world leader in educational measurement and support for educational improvement in developing countries; and Orient Integrated Development Consultants Inc. (OIDCI), a Philippines-based community development organization with over 30 years of experience in governance and institutional development.

The communication dispatch said the OIDCI “has extensive experience in Mindanao, including with Bangsamoro communities.”

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