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BARMM, CHED, OPAPP ensure accessible higher education in new autonomous region

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will help the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with its needs in establishing quality higher education.

On Wednesday, CHED and OPAPP signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide help to higher education institutions and other government agencies to ensure accessible education in BARMM.

"We are assisting the BARMM consistent with the policy of President Duterte that all young Filipinos must have access to quality education and that no qualified student is denied access to education on account of poverty," CHED chairman De Vera said in a statement.

OPAPP Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Minister Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal of BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) vowed to push for the higher education-related initiatives aligned with the Executive Order No. 79 or the Implementing Annex on Normalization Under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Under the MOU, involved agencies are expected to commit to the following tasks:

  • Determine the areas to extend technical assistance to the MBHTE in relation to  BARMM HEIs and the CHED Registry
  • Capacitate MBHTE in monitoring the compliance of BARMM HEIs with the standards of quality education
  • Communicate to DSWD the importance of ensuring the inclusion of underprivileged BARMM students and the children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the six MILF camps in Listahanan 3.0
  • Encourage the deputized Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) HEIs in Mindanao to help children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the six MILF camps to complete their undergraduate study
  • Offer study grants and capacity-building programs to target beneficiaries, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations and procedures
  • Offer a special scholarship/capacity development program for amnestied/decommissioned MILF combatants and dependents
  • Propose professional development programs to faculty and staff of BARMM HEIs through the available CHED and other national government funds
  • Mobilize leading HEIs to provide technical assistance to BARMM higher education needs identified by MBHTE
  • Provide MBHTE with necessary assistance in the creation of a tribal university system
  • Assist MBHTE with the necessary technical assistance in the crafting of the Education Code. —Joviland Rita/LDF, GMA News