The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) signed Wednesday, October 30, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to provide assistance to higher education institutions (HEIs) and government instrumentalities to ensure accessible quality education in the new autonomous region in Mindanao.
Key officials of the said agencies-CHED Chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III, OPAPP Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and Minister Mohagher Mohammad Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)- vowed to push for the higher education-related initiatives consistent with Executive Order No. 79 or the Implementing Annex on Normalization Under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
“We are assisting the BARMM consistent with the policy of President Duterte that all young Filipinos must have access to quality education and that no qualified student is denied access to education on account of poverty,” CHED Chairman De Vera said.
Under the MOU, CHED, OPAPP, and MBHTE-BARMM will do the following:
1. Determine the areas to extend technical assistance to the MBHTE in relation to BARMM HEIs and the CHED Registry;
2. Capacitate MBHTE in monitoring the compliance of BARMM HEIs with the standards of quality education;
3. Communicate to DSWD the importance of ensuring the inclusion of underprivileged BARMM students and the children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the Six MILF camps in Listahanan 3.0;
4. Encourage the deputized Expanded Tertiary Education Equivalency and Accreditation Program (ETEEAP) HEIs in Mindanao to help children of decommissioned MILF combatants and selected beneficiaries from the Six MILF camps to complete their undergraduate study;
5. Offer study grants and capacity-building programs to target beneficiaries, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations and procedures
6. Offer a special scholarship/capacity development program for amnestied/decommissioned MILF combatants and dependents;
7. Propose professional development programs to faculty and staff of BARMM HEIs through the available CHED and other national government funds;
8. Mobilize leading HEIs to provide technical assistance to BARMM higher education needs identified by MBHTE;
9. Provide MBHTE with necessary assistance in the creation of a tribal university system; and
10. Assist MBHTE with the necessary technical assistance in the crafting of the Education Code.
J. PROSPERO E. DE VERA III, DPA
Commission on Higher Education