ZAMBOANGA CITY: Charitable foundation BRAC Philippines, in partnership with the Department of Education and Aus-tralian government, formally opened 1,200 learning centers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Aside from free education materials, all students in these learning centers were provided with essential hygienic materials such as toothbrush with polypaste fluoride and soap for hand washing for their daily use.
Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Armin Luistro and Regional Education Secretary Jamar Kulayan also inspected the opening of classes in Maguin–danao’s South Upi town and mingled with students.
DepEd and the Australian Aid-Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) are building nine schools and are renovating five classrooms in the area. Aus-Aid also handed over coffee processing tools and equipment to Luistro and Kulayan for Upi Agricultural School.
BRAC Philippines through the Alternative Delivery Model Pro–ject of Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao Program provides alternative quality education to more or less 40,000 out of school children from the disadvantaged communities in ARMM.
In Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Basilan, a total of 488 kindergartens and 203 Grade 1, including 411 Grade 2 and 118 Grade 3 are now operational. This is on top of the 312 learning centers in Maguindanao; 619 in Lanao del Sur and 118 more in Tawi-Tawi. Sulu and Basilan have 108 and 78 learning centers, respectively.
BRAC Philippines established learning centers in remote and deprived villages of ARMM where access to primary education is difficult for many children like absence of schools, conflict and unstable condition, inadequate transportation facilities and low family income.
The project trailing the value of inclusiveness aims to cover more school-less barangays in the most underprivileged communities in the hope to lessen the illiteracy rate not only in ARMM, but other areas of the country.
BRAC International based in The Hague was formed on March 16, 2009 and is actively involved in development programs such as health, education, agriculture, livelihoods, targeting the poor, human rights and legal services programs.
Aside from the Philippines, BRAC International has programs in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Haiti.