Thursday Sep, 28 2023 11:51:02 AM

IP learning hub serves both pupils, parents in remote Maguindanao Sur town

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NEWS • 10:45 AM Sun Jun 11, 2023
IP children enjoy the learning hub built for them in upland village of Talayan, Maguindanao Sur. (FC)

COTABATO CITY - A learning hub in a remote public school in Talayan, Maguindanao del Sur is not only serving the Indigenous Peoples’ youth but their parents as well.

Already 12 years old but Mohaimen Ismael remains a second grader. At his age, he should be in Grace 6.

The problem was Mohaimen’s home was few kilometers away from the school and, due to extreme poverty, his parents could not fund his studies.

Since he has other siblings, Mohaimen was left behind.

Good enough the Bangsamoro government has built a learning center through the “Abot Kaalaman sa Pamilyang Bangsamoro” or AKAP of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) with the support from Australian government’s ‘PATHWAYS’ program and implemented by BRAC Philippines and Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society (CBCS) as implementing partners.

The new learning center is in a territory covered by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF’s) Camp Omar.

It is not too late yet for Mohaimen to catch up and he embarked on massive book reading to widen his knowledge. 

“I really wanted to go to school but we have no one nearby so when I learned about this school I and my friends and siblings enrolled right away…I want to study to help my mother and our family,” Mohaimen, a pupil of Barangay Lanting, said.

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The education facility was built through the funds from AKAP program with the help of BRAC Philippines.

The community help build the learning hub via ‘bayanihan’ with parents taking part in the physical construction of the facility.

For them, learning is not only for their children but they too would like to be educated.

For effective learning, the reading and educational materials have to be translated in the vernacular for easy understanding.

Most of the residents in the community belonged to Teduray tribe and most of the parents, if not all, have not received formal education.

“Reading comprehension is very important for our schoolchildren.  If we lack reading materials, I can bring them to the library so they can read further. The learning center is yet to be completed but the pupils are so excited, when we received books from BRAC Philippines, the children were so eager to start reading,” said Mohammad Kaul, learning facilitator in Barangay Lanting.

Malou Gonzales, community organizer of BRAC Philippines, said the learning hub is very helpful for children living in far-flung communities.

“This is a huge help to our IP children, especially those living in the mountain villages, with the learning center getting closer to them,” she said.

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“They started learning to read and count.  We are giving them five to 10 minutes reading time every day and the activity includes their parents who, like their kids, are also excited to learn to read,” Gonzales added.

Dioscoro Eballes, school head, said the center will surely help educate the IP children without forgetting their culture and tradition.

“I hope this learning center will guide our school children and that they will not forget their culture, belief and tradition, Eballes said.

Riz Barandino of PATHWAYS said to ensure children get education is to bring the learning institution near them.

“What we do is ensuring IP children will no longer have to walk for several kilometers because we bring the school here, close to them,” Barandino said.

“At young age, they can start the learning process. This learning center is not only for this barangay but children from neighboring villages can come and be educated, learn to read and write and count, this is open to all who wish to learn,” Barandino added.

Alih Anso, MBHTE consultant, stressed that it is important to teach the children the right education.

This learning hub in Barangay Lanting, Talayan, Maguindanao del Sur is among the centers under the AKAP program of MBHTE designed for 106 underserve villages across BARMM aimed providing accessible, operationalized and functional for all in the community.

It was facilitated by BRAC Philippines.

Residents and IP schoolchildren here remained optimistic that more support would come in the future, especially e-learning facilities.

More than anybody, Mohaimen was so excited and helping his friends to read inside the learning hub.

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