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Wednesday, 02 February 2022 02:06

Literacy for vulnerable sectors in camps communities

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IN PHOTO: An instructional manager, one who is facilitating classes for the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in light mood, carrying a box of learning materials transported to the community learning center in a remote area in a camp community. ALS is a modified education program in the Philippines for those who was not or are not capable of studying due to poor access, services, poverty and war for some. IN PHOTO: An instructional manager, one who is facilitating classes for the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in light mood, carrying a box of learning materials transported to the community learning center in a remote area in a camp community. ALS is a modified education program in the Philippines for those who was not or are not capable of studying due to poor access, services, poverty and war for some.

February 2, 2022. In the remote communities in Mindanao, particularly Bangsamoro Region, access to basic services like education and health remains deprived, although with significant improvement considering the continuing development assistance from various donor organizations. This has become more apparent now with the Bangsamoro Government now established anticipated to be responsive to the needs of the people in the region, long been wedged by decades of armed conflict.

On education, (as per the results of its Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2019), that by region, Metro Manila posted the highest functional literacy rate of 96.5%, while the lowest was recorded in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with 71.6%.

Of this number Sally Bandara, 30, a Teduray from Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan in Maguindanao (within MILF Camp Badre) can be counted among the illiterate groups.

Teduray is among the tribes identified as indigenous people.

Sally says that because of distance and access, being in the mountains, they did not get education.

“Our ancestors were illiterate, because of that, our parents did not allow us to study”, Sally stated.

With the construction of community learning center in their village in Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan in Maguindanao (within MILF Camp Badre), and the implementation of Alternative Learning System (ALS), Sally feels positive about getting education.

“Back then, we used to run from the school because of ignorance, but now, it is the school that comes to us. You have given us this CLC with teachers who are walking on different roads just to reach us for education”, she expressed.

Sally is very happy that she is now learning to write her own name, that she will no longer rely on thumbmark to affix her signature.

Education was also impossible for a combatant like Taha Gawang, 51, Maguindanaon, who is residing from the same village of Sally.

He said “it is due to poverty and war in the past that I did not get education”.

Now, through the ALS, Taha can write his own name and is happy that recently, he was able to write his name when he registered to receive money from a relative abroad, unlike before where he can only do thumbmark.

“Staff from the remittance center was also surprised when they saw me writing my name”, Taha happily shared.

Adullah H.Esmail, the instructional manager, said that Taha is among the transitioning combatants of the MILF, and does farming to sustain his family of eight.

This particular implementation of ALS in camp communities is under the Camps of Learning Project (CLP) that aims to promote peace and inclusion through basic literacy in the Bangsamoro. The project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (#AECID).

Baidido Malignan, 45, a Maguindanaon is also an ALS learner registered under the project. She is enrolled at the CLC in Camp Omar, specifically in Brgy. Saniag, Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Baidido narrated that she was not able to get education because she has to help her father in the farm, where they get a living for their family of five.

“I joined ALS to learn writing and reading”, she said.

According to Datufaizal Macacana, the instructional manager of Baidido, she can now write her name along with other few words. Also, albeit slowly, Baidido can now read.

Baidido is a widow and is selling a pastil (a rice with shredded chicken wrapped in banana leaf) to provide for her children. 

ALS in camp communities is also giving hope to the youth. In Brgy. Tamparan, Munai, Lanao del Norte (belong to MILF Camp Bilal), Abdani Deki and Diya U. Mamaki are both timid during ALS sessions but are appreciative when Aisah Acob, the IM teaches them one-on-one.

Now, they can write their own names and other few words. Aisah reported that the two have significant improvement on penmanship, even better than hers, but remains slow in reading activities. She hopes that by the end of the project, the learners will be able to read sentences.

Under the CLP, there are four hundred eight (480) number of ALS learners across the six major camps of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) where the project 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 coordinated with the Department of Education- North Cotabato Division (Region XII) and Lanao del Norte Division (Region IX) for Brgy. Tamparan in Munai. 

With the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.) as the Project Implementing Unit (PIU), the project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Read 284 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 February 2022 02:14
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