Makati City (September 2, 2015) – The Department of Education of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) is “considering the sustainability of the alternative delivery model (ADM) as an approach to help alleviate the poor academic performance in basic education of students in the region.”
Marjuni Maddi, DepEd-ARMM assistant secretary for academics, said the region is “considering the continuation of ADM in ARMM communities after the program ends in 2017.”
He said, however, consultations with stakeholders and reviewing the policies of the DepEd central office would be conducted before ADM is extended beyond the program’s original duration. “We need to consider the readiness of ARMM and the DepEd central office’s policies to sustain ADM as a program,” Maddi said.
The ADM is a component of the Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao that aims at supporting the ongoing efforts of the Philippine government to address long-term education issues in ARMM.
Implemented by BRAC Philippines, the program established learning centers in poor, conflict-affected, and disadvantaged communities in ARMM to give out-of-school children access to basic education. It provides catch-up opportunities for the young children in remote and deprived communities of the region where regular public education is not easily accessible.
Since its implementation in 2012, the project already built 1,220 learning centers across ARMM including seven floating centers in coastal areas in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. These learning centers catered to 38,084 students from kindergarten to grades 1 to 3.
Maddi said the learning achievements of students in ADM centers showed parallel performances with those in public schools. The idea was reinforced during the national research forum on ADM conducted on September 1 here.
The forum was aimed at sharing the initial findings of three studies conducted by the University of the Philippines Los Banos Foundation, Inc., University of Melbourne, and University of Southeastern Philippines on the ADM-BRAC learning centers in ARMM.
The studies show that the BRAC learning centers significantly contribute to the increasing access to basic education; students in public schools and in BRAC learning centers show parallel performance in academic achievements; and BRAC learning centers have generally prepared their learners to a satisfactory level of readiness for the next grade level.
Almost 70 officials from DepEd-ARMM, Australian and Bangladeshi embassies, and representatives from BRAC Philippines, Australian Aid, the academe and various international nongovernmental organizations working for education in ARMM attended the event.
“As we continue to improve the basic education system in the Philippines, there are learners who are still marginalized by the system,” Elvin Ivan Yu, DepEd central office assistant secretary for programs and projects, said.
“We will keep on engaging the sectors from the academe, local governments, development sectors, and partners to see how we can further refine this model and really come up with innovative and sustainable solutions that can serve our communities better in the coming years,” Yu added. (Bureau of Public Information)