DepEd pushes for ‘madrasah’ education for Filipino Muslims

By Alexander Villafania

PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA - The Department of Education (DepEd) has allocated a budget of P300 million this year for the madrasah education of Filipino Muslims.

With the approval of President Benigno Aquino III, the DepEd has increased its budget from P200 million the previous year.

As a follow up to the program, the DepEd will be implementing the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) curriculum in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The agency had earlier signed an agreement with ARMM Governor Ansarrudin Alonto-Adiong for the implementation of the program, which was followed up by the release of P75 million for preparatory activities such as training of asatidz or Muslim teachers.

Included in the training programs for asatidz is the Accelerated Teacher Education Program (ATEP) that helps professionalize the ranks of Muslim teachers. The ATEP is being conducted in DepEd partner universities such as Pampanga Agricultural College, University of Rizal Systems, Basilan State College, Western Mindanao State University, Universidad de Zamboanga, and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

“This is the first time it is going to be implemented in ARMM even as ALIVE is already taught in public schools and private Muslim schools  or madaris nationwide,” Luistro said.

The ALIVE curriculum was initially used for elementary schools during the school year 2005-2006. It was later refined by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization - Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO-INNOTECH). The refinements of the ALIVE curriculum are the ones being implemented in ARMM.

Luistro is also encouraging the opening of more private schools to accommodate more students who want to learn through the same beliefs as their culture and religious orientation provides.

In light of the DepEd’s K+12 plan, a madrasah curriculum for kindergarten and secondary education are also being developed. These are expected to be implemented in school year 2012-2013.

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