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  Sen. “Sonny” Angara explain Senate Bill No. 2474
during their regular session recently held at Senate 
Plenary Hall.
by: Al Maradz Madale

 Manila-Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara has filed a bill seeking to include Bangsamoro studies in curriculum of Philippine education system,  to promote  lasting peace in Mindanao. Angara said the inclusion of Bangsamro history culture and identity in the curricula of all levels in all schools in the country, starting in Mindanao is very important.

"Peace roots from an understanding of the multi-cultural nature of Mindanaoans-of Christians, Muslims and Lumads alike. Improving such understanding of each other's historical, social and cultural values lays the foundation for mutual respect and unity in Mindanao, " Angara said.

The senator stressed that one way of effectively instill further understanding of Bangsamoro history, culture and identity in the minds of the youth is by including such subjects in the education system.

Angara noted that the roots of the Christian-Muslim conflict in the Philippines can be traced to as early as the 16th Century, where Spanish colonizers were successful in using Christianity as a tool of conquest and reducing  the Muslim group to a national minority.

"Some content that this part of our history was where the seeds were planted for relentless biases against Muslim-Filipinos. Sadly, these biases persist today", he lamented.

Under the Senate Bill No. 2474, among the key contents of Bangsamoro studies include an understanding of the roots of the conflict and its impact on the rest of the country, the appreciation of the various cultures and ethnic identities, and support for the broader Mindanao peace process and promotion of intercultural dialogue.

"Such  curriculum ought to recall and highlight the positive relations among, the Muslims, Christians, Lumads and other indigenous peoples in Mindanao as well as their common origins and other points of commonality", the lawmaker said.

The proposed measure mandates the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to initiate and maintain the programs, and to consult recognized experts on Bangsamoro history, culture and identity in the formulation and creation of courses or subjects.

The DepEd and CHed  will also allow the teaching of Arabic language as an elective course.

"Education in crucial to the peace process in Mindanao. Such a grassroots approach is effective in instilling consciousness and understanding of the Muslim culture, especially for the Christian majority of our country-to possibly eradicated certian biases instilled in the minds of individuals. It is our hope that through these efforts long-lasting peace will be fully realized ",Angara added.

Meanwhile, Hadji Abdul Rahman Macapado A. Muslim, President of the Mindanao State University System said "we are fully supporting this Senate Bill No. 2474 for its effective implementation in Mindanao region. 

  Sen. “Sonny” Angara explain Senate Bill No. 2474 during their regular session recently held at Senate Plenary Hall.
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