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A celebration in ARMM as new teachers hired

/ 12:25 AM June 01, 2014

ZAMBOANGA CITY—A test message drove Madsaif Bandun, 50, from Tawi-Tawi, to tears.

“I could not believe it. I cried because I was so happy,” Bandun said.

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The message delivered good news—he had been accepted as a teacher.

Since 1998, Bandun had been working as a substitute teacher, earning too little to support his family of seven.

In 2012, he applied for a regular teaching job at the education department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

His application was approved but he was informed about it only last month.

Nuriam Daming, 49, a Tausug and substitute teacher in Parang town, Sulu province, also got the same text message.

Daming had been teaching in various schools as either a volunteer or a substitute teacher.

“Now, I relish the word ‘Ma’am’ because I am already a full-time, regular teacher,” Daming said.

Almassin Jailani was also beaming with pride.

The 44-year-old Badjao from Tawi-Tawi had passed the board exams for teachers. He was a janitor, driver, boat operator and substitute teacher before getting his permanent position as a teacher.

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“I am now a real teacher,” he said.

Bandun, Daming and Jailani were among 450 new teachers from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces who attended the mass oath-taking ceremony in a hotel here last week.

John Magno, assistant secretary for operations of the Department of Education in the ARMM, sent the text message to each of the 450 teachers.

Magno said the newly hired teachers underwent a very stringent, three-level screening before they were hired.

“I personally broke the news to them by sending the messages,” he said.

At the mass oath-taking ceremony, appointment papers were handed to the teachers.

“This is [because] we learned that in the past, qualified teachers had to pay thousands of pesos to get their papers,” Magno said of the department’s way of eliminating “the selling of appointments.”

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the lessons of the past had been learned.

The hiring of the teachers, according to ARMM officials, was now based on merit and competence.

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TAGS: ARMM, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Education, teacher
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