Muslim community migrating to Antique from Mindanao in search of peace and greener pasture is still assured of Madrasah education. The Gov. Santos Capadocia Memorial School, a public school in the municipality of San Jose de Buenavista, started offering the madrasah back in 2012, according to school principal Helen Macuja. The Madrasah curriculum offers Islamic studies in addition to the standard basic education of the Department of Education (DepEd). Two Muslim teachers handle the Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education (ALIVE) program in their school, she added. ‘This school year, there are 86 Kindergarten to Grade 6 Muslim learners enrolled of whom eight to 10 of them are graduating from elementary,’ she said. The school has a total of 631 learners coming from Barangay 4, where the school is situated, and from adjacent barangays of Comon and Progreso in San Jose de Buenavista. “Muslim learners excel in our school,” she added. Muslim learner Aliasser Abdul emerged as champion in the Qur’an reading contest while Noriallah Balowa placed third place in Harf Touch, a skill exhibition where a blindfolded player touches the surface of an illustration board engraved with Arabic letters to identify and pronounce them correctly, during the 2023 Regional Festival of Talents held in Iloilo City on June 25. A Muslim learner also graduated on top of their class in 2022. ‘In fact, several of our Muslim learners are now teachers and professionals in other fields,’ Macuja said. She said that they already have graduates working as seafarers, nurses and medical technologists. Two of their learners have returned to Mindanao as a school principal and a barrio school teacher, she added. ‘We really encourage the learners to take up education courses so that there will be more Muslim teachers who could help preserve their language, values, and culture,’ Macuja said.
Source: Philippines News Agency