More learning centers for Muslim learners to open in Mindanao

A March 6, 2013, press release from the Department of Education

An alternative delivery mode of education for Muslim schoolchildren supported by international agencies continues to reach more areas in Mindanao just a year after its launch.

To date, the BRAC (formerly Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) Alternative Delivery Mode has 410 learning centers (292 preschool and 118 elementary schools) serving some 11,868 learners throughout the provinces of Lanao Sur, Maguindanao and Tawi-Tawi. An additional 400 learning centers are to be organized in Sulu and Basilan when school year 2013-2013 opens in June.

BRAC is a non-government development organization that originated from Bangladesh that aims to find practical ways to increase the poor’s access to resources, including education, and empower them to become agents of change.

The BRAC education program is one of the components of Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao – ARMM funded by the Australian Assistance for International Development (AusAid).

Bangladeshi Ambassador to the Philippines, John Gomes, said his country has long been engaged in the peace process in Mindanao through the Organization of Islamic Conference.

The anniversary celebration held in Cotabato City last February 27 was graced by multi-awarded BRAC Founder and Chairperson Fazle Hasan Abed and AusAID Counselor for Human Development Elaine Ward.

Ward said the learning centers are a very important component of Australia’s larger investment in building a better education for the children in Mindanao. “We want to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and peace promotion through strategic investments in education.”

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hutaman said they are humbled by the presence of the Chairperson of BRAC-one of the worlds no 1 NGO. “With BRAC I am confident that we will see more children provided with safe, happy and quality education in ARMM,” he added.

For his part, Abed made an offer to the ARMM Regional Government for scholarships in governance and education leadership at the BRAC University in Dhakka. “The Philippines, actually, is the 1st country that recognized us in 1980. We thank you for having us in this country and I hope this will show good results.”