DAVAO CITY - Valenzuela City Mayor Sherwin T. Gatchalian vowed to help the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in attaining quality education at a conference held recently at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City.
Speaking before 23 municipal and city mayors from ARMM and other local officials, Mayor WIN sharedthrough a comprehensive Powerpoint talk of his administration’s policies and initiatives that position “good education is good governance” stance.
The chief executive later declared his willingness to cooperate with his Mindanao counterparts in improving their education sysytems upon receiving favorable responses from local officials. “I would be happy to join the cause in the region by engaging Valenzuela City with resource pooling for the benefit of our youth,” he declared at an open forum after his talk.
The conference, dubbed “One For All and All For One: Equality and Quality Education for ARMM Children,” was initiated by Manila-based Synergeia Foundation, a coalition of individuals, institutions, and organizations working to improve the quality of basic education in the country.
The City Government of Valenzuela has been actively working with the foundation since 2008 through the mayor’s pet project WIN Ang Edukasyon Program that has brought about significant reforms in the local education system, improved competencies of teachers and ultimately enhanced the learning experience of Valenzuelano students.
Synergeia Foundation Chief Executive Officer Dr. Milwida Guevara said Mayor Gatchalian’s commitment to share the best practices implemented in Valenzuela City is crucial in beefing up their private-public advocacy in attaining better education in the strife-torn region.
The former Finance secretary, likewise suggested to Mayor Gatchalian, who is a graduate of Finance and Operations Management from Boston University and had held high-ranking posts in large companies, in creating a “Mayors’ Academy” where his contemporaries can collaborate in improving their management skills particularly in finance.
She said, however, in summarizing key points presented in the half-day conference, replicating the success story in Valenzuela City would entail revitalizing local school boards (LSBs) into a “dynamic, transparent and competent bodies,” instituting reforms across all levels of governance from national, regional and local levels and delivering unwarranted support from policymakers and decisionmakers.
Also in the audience were ARMM Officer-in-charge Gov. Mujiv Hataman, Department of Education (DepEd) Usec. Francis Varela, Mindanao Education Alliance (MEA) Chairman and Saranggani Gov. Miguel Dominguez and Zuellig Family Foundation President, Prof. Ernesto Garilao.
Each one in the conference agreed and signed a Covenant that they will provide utmost effort in achieving “quality and equal education for the youth in Muslim Mindanao.”
The ARMM, according to its website, “seeks to fulfill only two general objectives: development and peace for its 2.8 million people in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and City of Marawi.”