/ 19 December 2022

SENATOR Sherwin Gatchalian urged his colleagues to pass his measure that aims to institutionalize Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education in all public and private basic education schools outside the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The lawmaker made the plea in line with the global celebration of the World Arabic Language Day.

Gatchalian filed Senate Bill 382 or the ALIVE Act to provide Muslim Filipino learners the appropriate and relevant educational opportunities while recognizing their culture, which includes the teaching of Arabic Language and Islamic Values.

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

Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, said the measure aligns with the objective of fostering inclusive education to respond to learners’ diversity of needs and ensure full participation, presence, and achievement in learning cultures and communities.

“Bilang pagkilala sa kultura at mga kontribusyon ng ating mga kababayan at mga mag-aaral na Muslim, isinusulong natin ang mas pinaigting na mga programa sa ilalim ng Arabic Language and Values Education. Bahagi rin ito ng ating pagsisikap upang matiyak na pagdating sa dekalidad na edukasyon, hindi mapag-iiwanan ang ating mga mag-aaral na Muslim,” he said.

Under the measure, the subjects of Arabic Language or Islamic Values Education, or both, shall be taught to Muslim and non-Muslim Filipino learners.

The bill also seeks the provision of relevant textbooks and instructional materials, as well as training or capacity-building of asatidz or teachers in most Muslim Filipino communities as well as technical and financial educational assistance to DepEd-accredited or recognized madaris, which are privately-operated, community-based educational institutions whose core emphasis are Islamic studies and Arabic literacy.

The medium of instruction in madaris is the Arabic language.

The proposed law will also cover learners enrolled in the Alternative Learning System.