Minister Mohagher M. Iqbal of BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher, and Technical Education/ FILE PHOTO

BARMM Ministry of Education considers implementing Distance Education for School Year 2020-2021

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE-BARMM) headed by Minister Mohagher M.  Iqbal is considering to implement Distance Education or Online Learning as among of other learning modality for the opening of School Year 2020-2021 during this health crisis in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by Atty. Haron S. Meling, MBHTE Chief of Staff in a Bangsamoro Governments’ local radio program in Cotabato City, after key officials from the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a series of deliberations on the setting up of the “new normal”.

“Continue ‘yung consultation para mapakinggan ang suggestions ng kapulungan para sa different learning methods na applicable sa situation natin katulad ng Distance Education,” Atty. Meling said in Filipino.

He also said that there are at least five sessions of the Management Committee Teleconference of DepEd earlier weeks of March that has been conducted, wherein Learning Continuity Plan (LCP) was discussed.

The Learning LCP is one of the alternative educational methods along with other designed for every student, including those coming from the rural areas.

Based on the DepEd official statement circulated in an online publication, LCP includes key features on K-12 curriculum adjustments; alignment of learning materials; various modalities of delivery; and corresponding teacher and parent/guardian training for homeschooling.

Atty. Meling added the committee is pushing forward to make the class files downloadable or ready-to-print for the students for some remote areas of the Bangsamoro region do not have good internet services to support the class. 

Atty. Meling said that Minister Iqbal have already conducted regional LCP survey meeting with the heads of Schools Division Superintendent of Maguindanao 1 and 2 districts, and other schools district supervisor pursuant to the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED) LCP national survey on Friday, May 8.

According to him, the said meeting is a prelude and among the many efforts undertaken by the office in adjusting to the new state of Philippine Educational System amid crisis.

Atty. Meling announced that the MBHTE-BARMM opening of classes for the School Year 2020-2021 is on April 24 and will end in April 2021, as it was earlier announced by DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones. He said that newly hired teachers will report to their work on June 1, it could be both physical or online.

Meanwhile, in an official statement posted on social media account of MBHTE, the ministry will release an Emergency Relief Assistance Allowance (ERAA) amounting PHP10,000.00/each to all its employees, including Contract of Service workers in the regional office. 
This came after the issuance BARMM’s Office of the Chief Minister Memorandum Order No. 270, series of 2020, which states among others that the ERAA shall be charged against the Education Ministry's Personnel Services Allotments, and the approved maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE). 

The Office of the Minister would like to clarify, however, that the ERAA is not a bonus. The ERAA serves as the Ministry's way of supporting the employees in the regional office during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and as an aid to education employees during this Holy Month of Ramadan. 

Iqbal is keen to exhaust all available and accessible funds of the Ministry to grant every MBHTE employee an equal amount of assistance during these trying times. The ERAA was made possible through the unwavering support from the BARMM Office of the Chief Minister Ahod “Al hadj Murad” Ebrahim and the Ministry of Finance and Budget Management. 

Moreover, the Education Ministry will release the mid-year bonus not earlier than May 15 to qualified Teaching and Non-Teaching Personnel of the MBHTE. The Ministry will also release the salaries of MBHTE faculty and employees for May 2020 at the soonest possible time.