Cotabato City (January 26, 2018) – About 35,000 students living within conflict-affected areas, or ‘SPMS box’, in the province of Maguindanao have been reached by the Department of Education in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DepEd-ARMM) while 52 scholars have benefited from the Commission on Higher Education’s College Financial Assistance Project.
These efforts were made possible through the Humanitarian and Development Assistance Program (HDAP), a flagship initiative of autonomous Muslim region under the administration of Governor Mujiv Hataman. The program seeks to create stable and sustainable communities across the region.
SPMS box refers to an area that covers 15 municipalities including the adjoining towns of Sharrif Aguak, Pagatin (Datu Saudi), Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona. These municipalities were affected by military operations launched against lawless elements after the Mamasapano incident in 2015.
Taya Aplal, DepEd-ARMM special events director, said all the 31 schools inside Maguindanao’s conflict-affected areas were declared as ‘Salam’ schools, or Zones of Peace. This came after a memorandum of understanding was signed by the stakeholders including non-state actors – Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front – with the military and local government units.
As of date, DepEd-ARMM has organized and conducted psycho-social support services and psychological first-aid in the 31 schools to address the stress experienced by the students, teachers and students. Supplementary feeding and distribution of school materials were also conducted by the agency under its Support Services Education Recovery Program.
The Education department is currently in the process of finishing the Education Emergency Module that follows international standards but with a context-based conceptual framework that gives importance to survival, disaster preparedness and functional literacy.
Special classes focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic have been integrated with peace education and values formation under the Special Education Recovery Program, also under DepEd-ARMM.
In partnership with agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and international nongovernmental organizations, community-based livelihood programs were organized.
With active participation from students, parents and teachers, the livelihood programs are expected to sustain and maximize development in the communities. Amounts of up to P30,000 were granted to each beneficiary school as aid to help in implementing the content of the modules.
“Makakatulong ang pag-implement ng lahat ng ito sa pag-prevent ng violent extremism, dahil ibang approach na ito sa education – may innovation,” Aplal said.
Aplal claims success in the implementation of HDAP projects under DepEd-ARMM since the start of the program in 2015. The DepEd-ARMM director said the implementation reports they received were based on assessments and were validated. “The services we provided really benefited our schools and their communities.”
SOURCE: (Bureau of Public Information)
January 26, 2018 @ 17:13