DAVAO CITY March 17 (PIA)- The Australian government has launched its new flagship education initiative in Mindanao, The Education Pathways to Peace in Mindanao or PATHWAYS.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop attended the launched at Marco Polo Davao today (March 17). Ernesto Penia, Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and Jesus Dureza, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Regional Executive Secretary Atty. Laisa Alamia also graced the launch.

PATHWAYS is a nine year (2017-2026) education program that focuses on priority education reform areas including contextualization of national curriculum on Bangsamoro issues and culture, improving teacher quality, improving data collection for policy making and stakeholder engagement in educational policy.

Nigel Bruce, First Secretary for Development of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines said that the PATHWAYS is a direct partnership  with the ARNN.

“It follows on BEAM but with a slightly different concept.” Bruce said.

BEAM or Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao 2002 to 2017 was Australia’s support toward developing the education sector in Mindanao and the ARMM with focus on early childhood education, work and sanitation in schools and alternative basic education.

Australia’s support to PATHWAYS is valued at Aus$90 million (Php 3.4 biliion).

ARMM currently achieves some of the lowest scores within the country on human development indicators- particularly in the sector. And with the PATHWAYS the Australian government hopes to change this condition.

The goal is to improve education performance and equity in the attainment of quality basic education by children in the ARMM contributing to more resilience, stability, peace and prosperity in Mindanao. (PIA/RG Alama)