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PIA Press Release

Feature: Enhancing Arabic competencies for ALIVE teachers

by ET Isidro

Davao City (1 February) -- More than 200 asatidz (Muslim teachers) nationwide have recently undergone the first phase of Arabic Language Enhancement training in four clusters—Manila, Iligan, Zamboanga and Kabacan from 29 December 2007 to 14 January 2008.

Dubbed as the National Arabic Language Enhancement Program (ALEP), this training was conceptualized by the DepEd Central Office and the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao Project, in cooperation with the DepEd ARMM Bureau of Madrasah Education, to improve the competencies of Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) teachers in the public schools.

Participants to this program are deployed ALIVE teachers who earned 'conditional' performance in the recent Arabic Qualifying Exams. The qualifying exam was designed to ensure that all ALIVE teachers meet DepEd's established minimum competencies. Those who fail to meet the criteria will no longer be deployed in the next school year.

BEAM and DepEd tapped the expertise of the "ulama" (religious scholars) who are graduates of Islamic Studies overseas to come up with modules and help in the delivery of the program. After several module-writing workshops and a series of critiquing, editing, and proofreading sessions, the ulama were able to come up with 11 modules to be used in the three phases of the program.

The recently concluded first phase, which is face-to-face mentoring, focused on improving the Arabic proficiency of the trainees. Phase 2 is three-month independent learning using self-instructional modules. Phase 3 is a shorter version of Phase 1 with Tajweed (proper pronunciation of Arabic words) practicum and synthesis. At the end of the program, the trainees will retake the Arabic Qualifying Exams. Passing the Qualifying Exams will enable them to continue their engagement in the public schools.

Prior to the conduct of the program, the module writers, regional ALIVE coordinators, Accelerated Teacher Education Program (ATEP) managers and coordinators, and selected asatidz were oriented on the nature of the delivery mechanisms. Workshops were also conducted to prepare the cluster teams, especially in identifying tasks and responsibilities as well as agreeing on house rules, to efficiently deliver the program.

The Manila cluster is headed by Aleem Jamail Macadindang (Administrator of Ibn Khaldun Integrated School in Taguig) and assisted by Ustadz Rigan Alam (Muslim Education Officer of BEAM). Three Arabic Mentors composed of Aleem Zamanodin Jialil, Ustadz Mohammad Shaber Arsad and Ustadz Moamar Herman handled 29 participants from Regions III, IV-A, IV-B, VI and VII.

Twenty-eight trainees from Regions X and XIII composed the Iligan cluster. This was headed by Aleem Abdulgafor Abdulhamid (Chief Education Specialist, DepEd ARMM BME) and assisted by Aleem Qamar Saeed (Muslim Education Officer, BEAM). The Arabic Mentors include Aleem Salic Manggis Sharief (Director for Extension Services, MSU King Faisal Center), Aleem Abubakar Sharief (Principal, Jami'ato al-Waqf al-Islamie) and Aleem Ansary Abdulmalik (President, Jami'ato Janoubel Filibbien and the League of Pilot Madaris-Lanao Chapter).

Zamboanga cluster is composed of 48 trainees from Region IX and the ARMM Provinces of Sulu and Basilan. This is headed by Aleem Rajad Basri and assisted by Aleem Bayan Marujin, Aleem Abdulmuhmin Mujahid, and Aleem Gamar Abubakar.

The Kabacan cluster has the biggest number of trainees from RXI and RXII with 120 asatidz. This cluster is headed by Aleem Abdulkahar Guiambangan (Regional Education Supervisor for Arabic, DepEd ARMM BME) and assisted by Ustadza Albaya Badrodin (Education Supervisor, DepEd Cotabato City). Arabic mentors for this cluster are Aleem Sulaiman Piang, Aleem Abdullah Taha and Aleem Habibon Mamuntuan. All three are from the Madrasah Comprehensive Development and Promotion Program of Davao City. They are assisted by Aleem Mohammad Zaiton, Aleem Abubakar Ibrahim and Aleem Guialuddin Ishak.

While ALEP provides the target trainees the chance to improve their competencies, it is a chance, not a guarantee. ALEP is not an end in itself. Rather, it is a means towards an end which is to help the trainees improve their chance of passing the second Qualifying Exam. (BEAM/PIA) [top]

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