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Friday, 05 November 2021 15:36

Bringing literacy in MILF camps - stories of teachers for the conflict-affected communities

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November 5, 2021. Datufaizal Macacana 36, (2nd photo below), travels from Poblacion, Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao to Brgy. Saniag, Ampatuan in the same province from Monday to Thursday to fulfill his responsibility as Instructional Manager (IM) to the learners of the Alternative Learning System (ALS)- a component of the Camps of Learning Project that promotes literacy in communities within the six major camps of the MILF acknowledged in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB).

He started working as an IM for ALS in camp communities, particularly in Camp Omar in year 2019. Faizal understands the complexity of working in remote areas, especially in a camp, known to be a battlefield during the armed- conflicts in the past years. For him, he chose this job in belief that he can help serve those people who did not have education due to war in the past.

Faizal was a 4th year in secondary education when he learned about the conflict in Mindanao, particularly in Bangsamoro where he was born. “My father was often on duty in Camp Abubakar those times, for many months, so I knew and understand the struggle of the Bangsamoro”, he stated.

With his job as IM at present, Faizal feels good for the experience of being able to work with the local government unit (LGU) and the people in community.

He wishes enlightenment for his learners about the importance of education.

“I hope that I can help them be motivated towards education, that poverty is not a hindrance to learn, because at present, there are many opportunities in the Bangsamoro, that can assist people to improve their lives”, Faizal told.

Colleagues of Datufaizal for literacy sessions in Camps Omar are Aisa Mantikayan, Noraina Sambad and Nor-ain Kaliman.

Meanwhile, a colleague of Faizal from Lanao del Norte, named Aisah Acob, 29 also shares story of her work as IM in the remote village within the Camp Bilal, particularly in Brgy. Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte.

For Aisah, what she loves most about her role as IM is being able to be an instrument in providing learning for those people who did not have the chance because of the war, poverty and low access to basic services.

She hopes that by teaching, her learners would learn things that are useful for daily lives.

“I want them not just a reader but a leader in the future. I use the quote “Be a READER today, tomorrow a LEADER”, for them because I have this learner who is a barangay councilor.  She cannot read even simple words and sentences, only understands simple Filipino words. And for that she cannot fully participate in the development of the community because she is not confident and capable enough due to poor literacy”, Aisah stated.

In Camp Bilal, Aisah is joined by Norayah Mananggolo, Ibrahim Dangcogan and Aslimah Maminta.

Amerah Anta, 40, is also an IM working for the ALS learners in Brgy. Inug-ug, Pikit, North Cotabato, a village within the MILF’s Camp Rajamuda.

She shared that facilitating the learning session for the learners in a camp community is not easy. But her years of experience in the job, since 2016, equipped her with more knowledge and determination- moreover, knowing and understanding that this is part of her contribution to the Bangsamoro struggle.

“I wish that they will all complete this program, and whatever they learn from ALS will be significant in their lives”, Amerah expressed.

In Camp Rajamuda, Amera is working with Shaffreah Kuta, Sulaipa Unggui and Layra Mahmod.

Bedorie Panaudan, 34, has been working as an IM in Camp Bushra since 2016. Being an IM, she is very happy for the ability to share knowledge.

“I am happier when I see their eagerness to learn. Through this ALS, I can help in giving hope to the people in camp communities”, she stated.

Bedorie is working with Yasmin Abdulmanan, Mojahid Magazoga and Saniah Oga are facilitating the ALS classes in Camp Bushra.

Another IM, Sabrina Masacal, 25, is facilitating ALS sessions in Camp Abubakar, particularly Brgy. Tabuan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur.

She said that she loves doing community services. Sabrina is a social worker and applied for this job knowing that she can help those people who are in remote areas by sharing knowledge.

“I wish that my learners will acquire knowledge that they can use for their selves and have the courage to do what they wanted in life”, Sabrina told.

Sabrina is working with Noraina Mamantek, Analiza Pagayawan and Samera Bagnas. In Camp Abubakar.  

ALS facilitators in Camp Badre namely Abdullah H.Esmail, Kalindato Bato, Zainudin Kusain and Muslimin Abdul have to cross a river to reach their learners in the remote village of Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan, Maguindanao, including the indigenous people community- who are thankful for reaching out to them despite the distance to bring them literacy.

At present, there are four hundred eight (480) number of ALS learners across the six major camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) where the CLP is being implemented. 

They are vulnerable sectors in the community like women, out-of-school youth, elderlies, indigenous people and others who were not able to get formal education due to poverty, difficult access and armed conflict in the past years.

It is noted that the implementation of ALS in camp communities is well- coordinated with the BARMM’s Education Ministry for the areas under the Bangsamoro Region. Communities outside the region like Brgy. Inug-ug in Pikit is with the Department of Education- North Cotabato Division (Region XII) and Lanao del Norte Division (Region IX) for Brgy. Tamparan in Munai. 

CLP is a project "Promoting Peace and Inclusion Through Basic Literacy in the Bangsamoro" with the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as project implementing unit (PIU). 

The project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Read 857 times Last modified on Saturday, 06 November 2021 15:47
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