Official Language and Symbol: Mindanao Final Agreement

III. The New Regional Autonomous Government, C. Education

Article 113:

Filipino and English shall be the medium of instruction in the areas of the Autonomy; provided that Arabic shall be an auxiliary medium of instruction.

Article 114:

Regional languages may be used as auxiliary official languages in the region as well as auxiliary medium of instruction and communication.

Article 115:

Arabic shall be recognized as a medium of instruction in Madaris (schools) and other Islamic institutions.

Article 116:

Arabic shall be taught as a subject in all appropriate grade levels as presently required in the existing laws for Muslims, and optional, for non-Muslims.

Implementation History

1996

No Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

1997

No Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

1998

No Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

1999

No Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2000

No Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2001

Minimum Implementation

Based on the language of the 1996 peace agreement and RA 9054, implementation requires that the GRP accept the use of Arabic or regional languages in the ARMM region. Article 14, Section (j), of Republic Act 9054, passed in 2001, declares that “the official languages for instruction in the public school system are Filipino and English, even in the ARMM public schools.” The legislation allows Arabic to be used as an auxiliary medium of instruction - if chosen by the student. Section 1 also states that “regional languages may be used as auxiliary official languages in the region where used.” 

2002

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2003

Minimum Implementation

No developments observed this year. 

2004

Intermediate Implementation

In 2004, the Department of Education Central Office issued DepED Order Number 51 s. 2004 and the ARMM RG Executive Order No. 13-A, s. 2004 which standardized use of the Arabic Language and the teaching of Islamic Studies in madrasas. Order 51 also called for the teaching of secular subjects in those madrasas that wished to be recognized by the Department of Education.1  As such, the Arabic language as medium of teaching in Madaris was recognized from 2004.

2005

Intermediate Implementation

 As of 2005, the integration program had not received any GRP funding according to the firm that was contracted with USAID to train teachers in Mindanao: 

The recent DepEd Order No. 51 of 2004 orders a “Standard Curriculum for Private Madaris that should incorporate basic education subjects into the daily schedule of private madaris. To date, however, the Standard Curriculum is only a policy…The Standard Curriculum, and a broader set of proposed guidelines known as a Roadmap for Upgrading Muslim Basic Education, has not yet received any government funding for implementation.2 

Funding for the printing of textbooks and teaching guides for the subjects 'Islamic Values', 'Arabic Language,' and 'Islamic Studies' for Grades 1 and 2 did not come from the GRP, but from the World Islamic Call Society of Libya. It was also reported that the textbooks and teaching materials for Grades 3 to 6 were being prepared by a publisher for the years 2005 and 2006, but had not been printed.3