By Noel Punzalan
COTABATO CITY: Lawmakers of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslin Mindanao (BARMM) on Tuesday night passed into law the region’s education code.
After a rigorous eight-hour deliberation at the BARMM plenary, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), the region’s interim lawmaking body, unanimously approved Bill 70 or the proposed Bangsamoro Education Code (BEC) on third and final reading during a special session.
The new law shall be known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Act 18, the third priority legislation passed by the 80-member BTA parliament since its establishment in January 2019.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim and BTA Parliament Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong led the ceremonial signing of the Bangsamoro Education Code (BEC) following its approval at the plenary.
“The code shall provide for the establishment, management, and support of a complete and integrated system of quality education in the BARMM,” BTA Member of Parliament (MP) Rasol Mitmug, vice chair of the Committee on Basic, Higher, and Technical Education, said in a statement Wednesday.
Rasol assisted colleague MP Mohagher Iqbal, concurrent BARMM education minister, in answering queries from other BTA members during the period of interpellation.
During the deliberation, he said students within the BARMM would still take the National Achievement Test, although the region has been given powers for its own assessment of students.
Rasol added that teachers in the region would still receive training from the Department of Education but the Ministry on Basic, Higher, and Technical Education – BARMM may also provide localized training for mentors.
“Anything in the national system still applies to BARMM since our educational structure is a subsystem of the DepEd (Department of Education),” Mitmug said.
Meanwhile, Iqbal said new textbooks and materials would still have to be made on the integration of the Bangsamoro history in the curriculum.
He pointed out that the newly passed BEC would cover and govern all education systems, whether formal, non-formal, and informal, public and private learning institutions in all levels, to be collectively referred to as the “Bangsamoro Education System”.
The BEC was filed and introduced by Iqbal in October last year and went through a series of committee hearings and consultations for more than six months.
The law will take effect 15 days after its complete publication.
Philippine News Agency