Muslim education program gets P252-M funding

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MALACAÑANG HAS released P251.6 million for the nationwide implementation of the madrasah education program aimed at enhancing educational development of Filipino Muslims.

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement that the fund release showed that education was the central strategy of the Aquino administration to invest in the people and enhance their opportunity to gain meaningful employment.

Also yesterday, Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said investing in education was a pillar of the Aquino administration’s efforts to drive domestic economy toward sustainable growth.

Purisima was keynote speaker in a forum organized by the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines held yesterday in Makati City.

Abad also said that the fund is meant to help institutionalize madrasah education as part of the national system of basic education to promote lasting peace in the country, particularly in Mindanao.

Madrasah (madaris in plural form), an Arabic term, generally refers to a Muslim private school with core emphasis on Islamic studies and Arabic literacy.

In the Philippines, the madrasah educational system covers the weekend madrasah where teaching is basically religious in nature; the developmental madrasah where learning is structured hierarchically and sequentially, similar to other formal education schools; and the standard private madrasah which is designed to be part of the Philippine education system.

The program has three components— Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (Alive) in public schools, Alive for out-of-school Muslims, and assistance to private madaris.

Abad said a total of 1,567 Asatidz passed the training in school year 2010-2011 and were deployed with a monthly allowance of P5,000.

There are 893 public elementary schools nationwide that currently offer Alive classes.

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