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PIA Press Release

Madrasah policy managers off for study tour

Davao City (31 October) -- In its bid to assist DepEd strengthen the design and delivery of Muslim Education in the country, Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Project, is taking 60 Madrasah (Muslim schools) managers and Muslim education policy managers on a two-week Study Tour in Malaysia, Singapore and Australia from October 29 to November 9, 2007.

The main objectives of this study tour, which is supported by the Australian Government through AusAID, are to widen the perspective of the Madrasah and Muslim education managers on policies and interventions for "cultural communities"; develop a "Community of Practice" among Islamic School officials and policy makers in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia; and learn new models and develop creativity and innovation in program development and delivery, school management and teaching and learning processes.

BEAM is supporting 36 pilot Madaris obtain DepEd recognition and accreditation and training of Madaris administrators or managers in school management. Support has also been extended to strengthening the Bureau of Madaris Education in DepEd ARMM by improving facilities and assisting it in establishing criteria, policy, rules and guidelines in the selection and accreditation of Madaris.

In 2004, DepEd Central Office approved DepEd Order 51, s. 2004, providing for the teaching of Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) in the public schools and the Standard Madrasah Curriculum (SMC) for private Madaris. By 2005-06, DepEd piloted ALIVE in Grade 1 in a number of regions. While 36 of pilot madaris were supported in implementing the SMC and actively seeking government permit to operate as private madaris.

Of the 36 pilot madaris, 29 have either been given Permit to Operate (PTO) by DepEd or have pending applications.

Building on the experiences and learning gained in the 2-year implementation of ALIVE and SMC in the public schools and in the pilot madaris, respectively; policy and Madrasah managers saw the need for international exchange as a means of benchmarking local experiences and learning, with similar initiatives and interventions overseas. The Muslim Filipinos as a cultural community in a non-Muslim country share similar educational experiences with Muslims in Singapore and Australia.

Specially designed sessions related to the management and regulation of Madaris and training of teachers will be delivered to the participants so that they can learn from the experiences and best practices of the three countries.

In the Philippines, specifically in Luzon and the Visayas, the involvement in Muslim Education in DepEd Regions is limited to the implementation of the ALIVE Program in the public schools.

In Mindanao where there is predominantly a large Muslim population, aside from the ALIVE Program, DepEd Regions are supporting private Madaris who would like to introduce the SMC and apply for DepEd PTO.

Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) is a 6.5 year project of the Department of Education supported by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The goal of BEAM is to improve the quality and access to basic education in Mindanao thereby contributing to the attainment of peace and development in the Southern Philippines. Supporting Muslim Education is a significant part of the project's focus. (PIA XI/FMG) [top]

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