The Bangsamoro Education Code is one of the legislations that is required to reform the education system in the region.
Key Features of the Bangsomoro Education Code
1. The Bangsamoro Education Code is one of the BARMM’s priority legislations stipulated in Article XVI, Section 4 of the Bangsamoro Organic Law or Republic Act. No. 11054.
2. The Education Code is rooted in Bangsamoro History and Struggle. The Bangsamoro Education Code is a crucial step in promoting, affirming, and strengthening the Bangsamoro Peoples’ distinct historical identity and the long struggle to chart their destiny as a people and their ambition to build a future that all can live together in justice and peace.
3. The Education Code is learner-centered. It will establish a learner-centered education system with processes, inputs and standards designed to ensure the learners’ well-being.
4. The Education Code will facilitate a strong partnership with the vibrant education community. The realization of the Bangsamoro Education System’s goals and objectives depends on the support of a dynamic and robust education community, composed of learners, parents, schools and school administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff, and academic non-teaching personnel. To foster a spirit of shared cooperation among the educational community, the Code recognizes their rights and duties.
5. The Education Code is founded on seven (7) Key Principles:
- Inclusivity. Everyone shall have equal access to quality education regardless of beliefs, cultures, ethnicities, genders, needs, and abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
- Equity. Those who have less in life shall have more in educational services and opportunities.
- Rights-based. In the Bangsamoro, the right to receive a quality education and the concomitant obligation of the government to ensure the realization of such a right is an act of justice.
- Rooted in context. Bangsamoro Education shall take into consideration the diverse contexts of learners, educational institutions, and communities, including the historical narrative and aspirations of the Bangsamoro People and the Indigenous People.
- Integrated. A Bangsamoro Education System that is integrated vertically and horizontally on all streams, levels, delivery modes, and types of education and allows for multiple entries and multiple exits within the system for all learners.
- Balanced. A holistic education approach where a learner’s intellectual, spiritual, psychological, and physical growth is given importance.
- Moral Governance. Governance upholds ethical and legal principles, practices, and behavior in managing the education system.
6. The Education Code establishes an integrated system of education. It envisions a one learner-centered education system that integrates all levels and types of education and where all education processes and delivery modes are seamlessly coordinated to meet the learning needs, ideals, and aspirations of the Bangsamoro people. For instance, a learner can enroll in either the public school system, Madrasah system and alternative learning systems (ALS) and then proceed to formal tertiary education or skills development training. The system will also utilize an array of assessment and management tools to deliver learning that is measured, monitored, and maintained as per standards.
7. The Code ensures coordination of all aspects of education. Education is delivered in a comprehensive, coherent, and sequential manner through the following delivery systems, streams, and modes:
- Reliable early childhood education which provides a strong foundation of learning and well-being throughout life;
- Basic education in both the public school system and the madrasah system meets basic learning needs and provides the foundation on which subsequent learning can be based;
- Alternative learning systems;
- Higher education which shall produce high-level and middle-level professionals;
- Technical education and skills development which will develop the middle- level professionals;
- Lifelong learning and continuing education which develop the peoples’ knowledge, values and competencies beyond the regular schooling years;
- Pathways and equivalencies that enable access to qualifications aligned with national and international qualifications framework;
- Islamic and Arabic studies in the madrasah and higher education levels;
- and The indigenous education system which provides equitable access to quality education for indigenous peoples (IP) learners and maintains, protects, and promotes IP culture and tradition.
8. The Education Code highlights clarity in levels of education. This refers to the Elementary and Secondary Education, which comprises the Basic Education sector and interconnects with the Madrasah systems; and Higher Education, which includes Islamic Higher Education.
9. The Education Code employs a set of comprehensive delivery systems. Education is delivered through formal and non-formal learning systems. “Formal Learning System” refers to the hierarchically structured and chronologically graded learning provided by the formal education institutions at the primary, secondary and college level. Meanwhile, “Non-Formal Learning System” refers to any organized educational program that is not structured hierarchically and chronologically and includes learning programs alternative to formal education.
10. Uniform Standards for Basic and Higher Education. The delivery of basic and higher education is governed by the standards to be developed by the Ministry in critical areas including, but not limited to, the curriculum and competency, teachers, textbooks and learning materials, infrastructure, and quality assurance. In the development of these standards, the Ministry considers the rules of the Philippine Education System and existing government regulations.
11. The Education Code mandates that technical education and skills are anchored on the Bangsamoro’s needs. Technical education and skills development (TESD) graduates shall become active and productive members of society. All TESD programs aim to prepare middle-level skilled human resources by providing general education, technology-related sciences, and related occupational skills training.
12. The Education Code empowers the Ministry to adopt guidelines on qualifications, competency, licensure examinations, appointment, promotion, professional development, welfare and benefits, and teacher management, subject to existing national policies.
13. All universities, schools, and colleges in the Bangsamoro are now, subject to their charters, under the regulation of the Ministry. The participation of representatives of private schools in matters relating to them is safeguarded.
14. The Minister for Basic, Higher and Technical Education (or their designated representative) is now a member of the board of all state-owned colleges and universities. This will ensure that these state-owned colleges and universities are in step with the strategic direction of the BARMM.
15. Islamic Subjects and Arabic Language Curriculum under the School and Madrasah Systems. Islamic Subjects and Arabic Language Curriculum will be taught to Muslim learners in both the public school and madrasah systems. on-Muslim students are allowed to attend similar programs.
16. Islamic Higher Education is now a reality. Higher learning for Islamic and Arabic studies may be provided through Islamic study programs, schools, institutes, and universities in Bangsamoro, subject to the Ministry’s regulation. Islamic higher learning shall instill Islamic values necessary for the realization of the Bangsamoro education goals.
17. Indigenous Peoples (IPEd) Education is preserved. Indigenous Peoples Education (IPEd) is provided to promote the distinct cultural identity, integrity, and heritage of indigenous peoples and communities and ensure the recognition of and respect for all indigenous peoples in the Bangsamoro. Moreover, the Education Code supports the creation of a Tribal University System.
18. As provided in the Bangsamoro Organic Law, peace education is part of the curriculum. Peace education is offered so learners will instill the values, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment. Peace education is a core component of Bangsamoro education strategically integrated into the curriculum of all educational levels.
19. The power to create educational institutions is established. The establishment of educational institutions in the Bangsamoro must conform to legal requirements. Therefore, education institutions must seek prior authorization from the Ministry before they can operate in the Bangsamoro.
20. Financial Support to Public Education Institutions, including (public) Madrasah. The Bangsamoro Government, in collaboration with the National Government and local government units, will contribute to the financial support of educational programs to be implemented by the Ministry. In all other cases, the Ministry will be guided by the Code’s specific provisions on financial aid to public education institutions.
21. Subsidy for Private Education Institutions. The Bangsamoro Government may assist private educational institutions in the form of grants or scholarships, or loans from government financial institutions, in recognition of their complementary role in the educational system. However, such programs should meet specific defined educational requirements and standards and contribute to the attainment of Bangsamoro and national development goals.
22. Education Incentives for Education Community. The Ministry may provide an incentive program to encourage the community’s participation in the development of the educational sector.
23. Sectarian schools have the right to teach their religious beliefs. The right of sectarian and educational institutions to teach their religious beliefs shall not be curtailed. Moreover, there shall be no discrimination against sectarian educational institutions in any manner or form.