COTABATO CITY – Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) started Monday, Nov. 23, the first of its series of public consultations for BTA Bill No. 70 or the proposed Bangsamoro Education Code, with resource persons from the members of the academe, such as school superintendents, principals, administrators of madrasah and madaris, and other stakeholders.
“The Education Ministry needs to understand the needs, ideals, and aspiration of the ‘education community’, that’s why we are conducting this consultation,” said Minister of Education Mohagher Iqbal in his speech read by Member of the Parliament (MP) Atty. Rasol Mitmug.
MPs Iqbal and Mitmug are the chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the BTA’s panel on BEC.
“So the members of the education community can share their insights to enhance the draft (of BEC) and ensure its passage in the Parliament,” Iqbal added.
According to the Chapter III Section 2 of the BEC, education community refers to “those persons or groups of persons as such or associated in institutions involved in organized teaching and learning systems.”
Members and elements of the education community include parents, learners, school/education institution personnel, teaching or academic staff, school administrators, academic non-teaching personnel, non-academic personnel, and schools.
Monday’s consultation was conducted simultaneously at the BTA Extension Office and Pagana Kutawato Native Restaurant in the city; Jolo Town Hall Complex in Jolo, Sulu; R and R Garden in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; and in SP Hall in Isabela City, Basilan. Meanwhile, consultation for Lanao del Sur will be held on November 27.
Gathered comments, suggestions, and recommendations from the resource persons, including submitted position papers, will be consolidated by the panel and submitted to the BTA’s Committee on Rules for review and deliberation .
According to Iqbal, the BEC signifies the Bangsamoro’s collective vision for inclusive, balanced, relevant, and effective educational system for the BARMM.
“To summarize, the Bangsamoro Government envisions an education system that focuses on developing learners or students, where competent teachers uses a relevant and adaptive curriculum, schools are well managed and become safe and creative spaces for learning; all school heads, administrators, and employees are transparent and accountable in carrying out their functions,” Iqbal said.
As cited in Chapter III Section 6 of the BEC, Iqbal said there are seven (7) principles that will guide the Bangsamoro Government, particularly the Education Ministry, in governing the Bangsamoro education system. These are:
• Inclusivity – Everyone shall have equal access to quality education regardless of beliefs, cultures, ethnicities, genders, needs, and abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds;
• Equity – Those who have less in life shall have more in educational services and opportunities;
• Rights-based – In the Bangsamoro, the right to receive a quality education and the concomitant obligation of the government to ensure the realization of such a right is an act of justice;
• Rooted in context – Bangsamoro Education shall take into consideration the diverse contexts of learners, educational institutions, and communities, including the historical narrative and aspirations of the Bangsamoro People, the Indigenous People, and Christians communities;
• Integrated – A Bangsamoro Education System that is integrated vertically and horizontally on all streams, levels, delivery modes, and types of education and allows for multiple entries and multiple exits within the system for all learners;
• Balanced – A holistic education approach where a learner’s intellectual, spiritual, psychological, and physical growth is given importance; and
• Moral Governance – Governance upholds ethical and legal principles, practices, and behavior in managing the education system.
Iqbal said the Bangsamoro Education Code “reflects the Bangsamoro people’s distinct historical identity, their long struggle to chart their political and economic destiny, and their ambition to build a future where all residents of the BARMM – Muslims, Indigenous People, and the Christians – can live together in justice and peace.”
Iqbal filed the BEC in the plenary during a special session held October 28. (Bureau of Public Information)