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Solon wants Arabic taught in all elementary schools

A LAWMAKER pitches for the inclusion of Arabic and Islamic-values learning in public and private elementary schools’ curriculum outside the Bangsamoro Region.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 382, or the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) Act, last year to provide Muslim-Filipino students the appropriate and relevant educational opportunities, while recognizing their culture, which includes the teaching of the said subjects.

The proposed measure, the senator added, would also ensure the contribution of Muslim Filipinos to national goals and aspirations aimed at making them partners in nation-building.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, believed that the measure aligns to foster inclusive education, and will address and respond to learners’ diversity of needs, while ensuring full participation, presence, and achievement in learning cultures and communities.

The bill proposes that subjects of Arabic or Islamic values education, or both,shall be taught to Muslim and non-Muslim Filipino learners. It also seeks to provide relevant textbooks and instructional materials, as well as training or capacity-building of “asatidz,” or teachers, in most Muslim-Filipino

communities.

It also aims to provide technical, financial and educational aid to the Department of Education-accredited or recognized “madaris:” privately-operated, community-based educational institutions whose core emphasis are Islamic studies and literacy in Arabic, with the latter being their medium of instruction.

Gatchalian said in Filipino that, in recognition of Muslim compatriots and students’ culture and contributions, more intensified programs under ALIVE are being promoted. According to him, the initiative is also part of efforts to ensure that when it comes to quality education, Muslim students will not be left behind.

Aside from the country’s public schools and private madaris outside the Bangsamoro Region, the proposed measure also covers learners enrolled in the alternative learning system, or ALS. PNA

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