Iqbal Hopes For More Enrollees

Iqbal Hopes For More Enrollees

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The top education official of the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) expressed optimism Tuesday that the number of public school enrollees will increase as school days under the “new normal” continue.

Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the BARMM Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE-BARMM), is hopeful that the number will still increase by 20 percent.

The first day of classes showed a sharp decline of about 50 percent in the number of students participating in classes as against the class opening last year.

The MBHTE-BARMM has expected a total of 611,374 enrollees this school year but only 305,000 participated in both modular and online learning methods on the first day of school on Monday.

Iqbal assured that the MBHTE-BARMM will ensure the welfare of the students, teachers, and parents as the region adapts to the changes under the new normal.

Iqbal was briefed on reports about declining turnout in school participation, during the simultaneous nationwide class opening ceremonies that he attended in Barangay Tenorio, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao on Monday.

Initial reports showed less than 50-percent turnout in private school participation, and overall 70-percent class participation in private and public schools combined, according to lawyer Haron Meling, MBHTE chief of staff.

Still, Iqbal said they are still eyeing 90-percent turnout participation in elementary and high school in the coming days. He noted that both the teachers and learners are still adjusting to the new modes of learning.

“I want to assure you that we in the BARMM education ministry are establishing a quality, balanced and inclusive education system in the Bangsamoro,” Iqbal told reporters covering the school opening in Tenorio village.

Freddie Landon, a security guard working for a business establishment in this city, said he is now working double time both as a security guard and teacher to his Grade 10 daughter.

“The modules are good, easy to understand and my child loves it,” Landon said, referring to modules prepared by his daughter’s teachers and delivered to his home in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.

Another parent, 39-year-old Sonia Dueñas, said: “The modules are a big thing for our children, even to us parents assisting our kids under the ‘new normal’ of education.”

Most teachers in Maguindanao use blended learning program because the internet connection is an issue in the province. (PNA)

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