Senator Sherwin Gatchalian seeks an inquiry on the state of education in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to address low enrollment, improve learner outcomes, and enhance access to quality basic education in the region.
“Several decades of armed conflict and civil unrest have greatly affected the quality of basic education as evident in the performance of BARMM in several education indicators,” Gatchalian said.
Senate Resolution No. 455 provides for a review the status of the implementation of the education provisions of the Organic Law for the BARMM and the Bangsamoro Education Code (BEC) of 2021. The code was enacted into law pursuant to the mandate of the BARMM organic law to pass legislation strengthening the Madaris school system.
Gatchalian flagged that historical Net Enrollment Rate (NER) has been a persistent problem in BARMM, with the problem being more pronounced in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS).
While the national NER is 97%, only about 36% of individuals aged 12 to 15 are enrolled in JHS, and 10% of individuals aged 16 to 17 are enrolled in SHS.
According to the 2020 Philippine Statistics Authority’s Annual Poverty Indicators Survey, among the top reasons for non-attendance in schools are the high cost of education (21 percent), accessibility of schools (17%), and lack of personal interest (16 percent).
Gatchalian also pointed to the latest Cohort Survival data for BARMM. For every 100 children who enrolled in Grade 1 in School Year (SY) 2010-2011, only 17 were able to graduate Grade 12 in SY 2021-2022. This is substantially lower than the national average of 57 Grade 12 graduates in SY 2021-2022 out of every 100 Grade 1 enrollees in SY 2010-2011.
The lawmaker is further alarmed by the results of the last seven National Achievement Tests (NAT) administered in the region, which reveal low performance in English, Science, and Mathematics. NAT results show that Grade 6 learners exhibit near proficiency in English (52.4%) and Mathematics (52%), and low proficiency in Science (46 percent).