COTABATO CITY, Philippines—A nongovernment organization striving to bring peace and development to poor strife-torn communities has vowed to solve the illiteracy problem in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“By 2016, we expect to have reduced, if not completely solved, the problem of the basic education of children whose families had been displaced by the armed conflict with the help of the Philippine government’s education department,” said Nazrul Islam, country representative of the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC).
Founded in 1972, BRAC operates in 10 developing countries, including in the ARMM in the Philippines.
Islam said 40 years of humanitarian missions had transformed BRAC from a “small relief and rehabilitation group” to “the largest and one of the most successful development organizations in the world.”
Funded by the Australian government through its Agency for International Development, BRAC’s partnership with the Department of Education launched last year the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM), known as the Alternative Delivery Model (ADM), a five-year project with a $30-million initial AusAID fund for three years, said Ramon Bobier, project management consultant.
The joint project, according to Bobier, has established about 400 preschool buildings, with 110 in Maguindanao, 200 in Lanao del Sur and 47 in Tawi-Tawi.
“Some structures are under negotiation in time for the June school opening,” he said.—Charlie C. Señase