Amid the celebration of Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of Ramadan, Senator Win Gatchalian continues his push to institutionalize and strengthen the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) Program in all public and private basic education schools outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Through Senate Bill No. 382 or the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education Act, Gatchalian seeks the promotion, strengthening, respect, and preservation of Muslim Filipinos’ distinct historical identity, culture, customs, and traditions. The proposed measure also seeks to ensure the contribution of Muslim Filipinos to national goals and make them partners in nation-building.
The institutionalization of the ALIVE Program covers, among others, the provision of facilities, school furniture, equipment, relevant textbooks and instructional materials, and technical and financial educational assistance to the Department of Education (DepEd)-accredited or recognized private madaris. Madaris are privately-operated and community-based educational institutions with Arabic literacy and Islamic studies as its core emphasis.
The ALIVE Program also covers the training or capacity-building of asatidz to include the training of trainers, supervisors, and administrators. Historically and traditionally, asatidz refers to teachers in most Muslim Filipino communities.
Under the proposed measure, both Muslim and non-Muslim Filipino learners can study the subjects of Arabic Language or Islamic Values Education, or both, at the option expressed in writing by their parents and guardians.
“Sa pagsulong natin ng Arabic Language at Islamic Values Education, nais nating tiyakin na matatanggap ng mga mag-aaral na Muslim ang dekalidad na edukasyon na angkop sa kanilang kultura at paniniwala. Bahagi rin ito ng ating pagkilala sa mahalagang papel ng ating mga mag-aaral na Muslim sa pag-unlad ng ating bansa,” said Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education.
Gatchalian’s proposed measure covers public schools and private madaris located outside BARMM. It also covers learners in the Alternative Learning System (ALS).