DepEd greenlights Islam-friendly curriculum for ARMM

By Alexander Villafania

LAMITAN CITY, BASILAN–By June, Islamic-friendly curriculums will be implemented in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in an effort to provide basic education to cultural diverse sectors in the country.

The Islamic curriculum is part of a P300 million allocation to fund programs that implement Madrasah (Islamic education) and upgrade training of azatids (Muslim teachers), according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

The curriculum was initially implemented in Lamitan City in Basilan.

There are actually two types of Muslim education, which are prescribed by Muslim educational experts and institutions. The first is the Enriched Curriculum for Public Elementary School, which is based on teaching approaches using the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE).

DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro signed an agreement with ARMM Governor Ansarrudin Alonto-Adiong early in 2012 to implement ALIVE in the ARMM region.

ALIVE was earlier implemented in some Muslim areas in National Capital Region (NCR) to test if it canwork in ARMM, where the majority of the country’s Muslim population reside.

The second curriculum is the Standard Curriculum for Private Madaris that teaches Islamic religious history and laws alongside Math Science, English, Filipino, and Makabayan.

Among the topics are the Qu’ran, Seerah (life of the Prophet Muhammad), Hadith (Sayings of the Prophet), Aqueedah (conduct), Figh (jurisprudence), and the Arabic language.

Luistro said that implementing Madrasah education using the ALIVE curriculum will allow smooth integration of Muslim students to society.

He stressed that all young people, notwithstanding their religious leanings, must have equal education opportunities. As such, a curriculum that allows proper integration is needed.

Luistro also noted that Madrasah education is one of the key priorities of President Benigno Aquino III in an effort to reach out to other sectors of the country.

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