Basilan gets new Islamic school, more ARMM public schools built
BASILAN – Muslim scholars and religious leaders praised the recent inauguration of an Islamic school building in Basilan, one of 5 provinces under the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led local officials and clerics and ulama in the handover of the new building in Sumisip town and said the 10-classroom Islamic school – which sits on a one-hectare compound – will help curb the spread of radicalism and propagate the true teachings of Islam.
Abdulmuhmin Alyakanie Mujahid, the vice-chairman of the Basilan Ulama Council, said they welcome the establishment of the new facility, adding, this will boost their campaign to stop the ideology of extremism and radicalism.
“The inauguration of the madrasa undertaken by Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman is very much welcome and highly appreciated by the Basilan Ulama Council and the Regional Darul Ifta of ARMM since madrasa education is one of the most effective approaches in saving our young people from the darkness of ignorance and the crudeness of extremism and terrorism. Therefore, we urge our leaders to do the same with Governor Mujiv’s initiative in their areas,” he said.
Hataman said the building is worth about P20 million. “The infrastructure will not only be used to impart the correct teachings of Islam, but also a reformation center, particularly for out-of-school youth who are the potential recruits of terror groups. They should be brought to this kind of school,” Hataman said.
He said at least 16 Muslim clerics regularly provide Islamic studies in the school. It also has guest instructors from nearby Isabela City to teach specialized Islamic subjects. The school will also offer vocational and agri-fishery courses and could accommodate 1,000 college and secondary students.
“This is not a simple school, but also a reformation center in Sumisip. This will be replicated in the cities of Lamitan and Isabela, and also in other provinces in ARMM,” Hataman said, adding, part of the objective in establishing the school is to standardize the curriculum of Islamic studies.
He said some 1,000 teachers or Ustadz are also expected to attend the Madaris (Islamic educational institution) summit in Basilan set in June that will discuss the curriculum and module in their teachings.
Hataman – who has been in the forefront together with Islamic scholars in the fight against radicalism – said the regional government will build more Islamic school in ARMM to address misinformation about Islam. “We have discussed this with the Ulama Council in Basilan that as part of the antiterror campaign, the building of formation centers in Islamic schools will help counter the propaganda of terrorist groups,” he said.
More Schools Hataman also said that most of the 167 new buildings for senior high school in the ARMM would be ready in time for the school opening. “We are turning these over to the communities because we want these facilities to be used in the upcoming school year, which will start in June. Many are still struggling in rural areas to get proper education,” he said, referring to the regional government’s move to build more classrooms in far-flung areas.
Aside from the Islamic school, Hataman also handed at least 7 of the nine new school buildings with six classrooms each in Basilan. The total amount of the school buildings is estimated to be at least P70 million. Among the high schools that will have new buildings are those in Lamitan City and in the municipalities of Maluso, Tuburan, Muhtamad, Tipo-tipo, Sumisip and Lantawan. The construction of the new school buildings is in response to the province’s more than a thousand senior high school students expected to enroll this school year.
“We also hired more or less 300 new teachers in Basilan,” Hataman said.
For the entire ARMM, Hataman said they allocated a little over P1 billion that would cover 167 new school buildings with 816 classrooms. The bulk of the new school buildings for senior high school would be in the provinces of Maguindanao, with 75, and in Lanao del Sur, with 51. The rest, or 41 new buildings, would be spread in the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi. On top of these, Hataman said the regional government is also building 12-classroom agri-fishery school in Basilan for high school and college students.