Sep 212014
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
2005-01-10 06:11
2011-08-30 01:44
Embassy Manila

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. 04 MANILA 6122
¶B. 04 MANILA 5479
¶C. 04 STATE 193469
¶D. 04 MANILA 2188

¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: A $400,000 DRL-sponsored “Madrasah
Teacher Training Project” is now underway in the Philippines
to train 28 madrasah educators in U.S. educational practices
and values. Upon their return to the Philippines, they are
expected to share what they learned via specified local
projects and at a national “networking” conference. The
project appears worthwhile, though rather costly for the
comparatively modest results sought. Successful
implementation of the project will assist in bringing the
Philippines’ Islamic educational system into the mainstream.
Integrating this effort with other ongoing USG projects
advancing this same goal will better ensure optimum use of
USG resources. The Mission’s Education Committee will
coordinate in identifying promising projects for funding in
FY 2005 under the Human Rights and Democracy Fund. END

New project

¶2. (U) The DRL-sponsored “Madrasah Teacher Training Project”
(Ref c) is now underway in the Philippines. The USD 400,000
project is funded by the ESF/Human Rights and Democracy Fund
(HRDF) administered by DRL. The Institute for Training and
Development (ITD), a US-based non-profit NGO, serves as the
project’s implementing agency, and began the first phase in
December 2004. The project is focused on strengthening and
improving the madrasah education system prevalent in Muslim
areas of the southern Philippines. Muslim educators will be
exposed to U.S. educational practices and values during the
course of the project. An outline follows:

— Phase one: ITD selects participants and builds support
for the project among in-country partner organizations and
international aid agencies;

— Phase two: Twenty-eight leaders from madaris in Mindanao
travel to the U.S. for a three-week study tour. In the U.S.,
they attend presentations by university professors and other
experts, and visit schools, religious organizations, and the
Department of State and other government offices in

— Phase three: The teachers apply what they have learned
through programs in their schools and communities in the
Philippines. Support for these projects is provided in the
form of “mini-grants” in the amount of USD 2,000 each. The
teachers will also share their experiences with other
Filipino Muslim educators at a national “Educator Networking”

¶3. (SBU) Poloff recently reviewed efforts to implement the
project in meetings in Davao City, Mindanao. Sally
Habana-Hafner, Project Manager for ITD, confirmed to poloff
that phase one of the project had begun and that selection of
participants was underway. At this meeting, Alastair
Douglas, Deputy Project Director of AUSAID’s Basic Education
Assistance for Mindanao project (BEAM), also reviewed ways
best to leverage the substantial efforts BEAM has invested in
madrasah education in support of the current DRL project.

¶4. (SBU) Separately, members of the Association of Muslim
Students at the University of the Philippines in Mindanao
expressed support for the project as well as enthusiasm for
combining secular education and Islamic values. Ustadz
Mahmod Adilao of the Ulama League of the Philippines
commented that madaris offering a full range of religious and
secular courses would be popular with Muslim students by
helping them gain skills and find jobs. (Ref B described the
Philippine Department of Education’s latest efforts to
modernize the Islamic educational system by making it conform
to national educational standards.)

Other USG projects

¶5. (U) In the context of the State visits of President
Arroyo and President Bush to each other’s capitals in 2003,
Mission had launched a 5-year USD 33 million education
program focused primarily on Muslim Mindanao. Led and
administered by USAID, the program involves a range of USG
agencies and local, U.S. and international NGO’s. The ITD
project comes as a very welcome addition to the larger White
House-based initiative in the Philippines. To ensure maximum
impact of our USD 400,000 investment through IDT, we will
work to integrate that program with our ongoing educational
campaign in Mindanao. Our other projects to improve the
level of education being offered in madaris include:

— The Mindanao English Language Education Enhancement
Project (MELEEP), funded by the Public Affairs Section,
trains English teacher trainers from the southern Philippines
to teach more effectively. As Ref b noted, English language
is a key addition to the new unified madrasah curriculum;

— A senior English-language Fellow who speaks Arabic is
working in the Department of Education on English teacher
training, funded by the State Department’s Bureau of
Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The focus of the
training program is primarily in Mindanao;

— Assistance for the Comprehensive Educational Development
of Mindanao (ASCEND Mindanao) trains and assists school
administrators and ustadz from selected public schools and
private madaris in the application of the improved curricula
and materials. The two-year project is funded by AID;

— Under the Tudlo Mindanao (Teach Mindanao) project, Peace
Corps volunteers work with Mindanao teachers to develop and
adapt teacher training sessions for English Content Based
Instruction in math, science and information and
communications technology.

We advance all of these projects through our Country Team
efforts, including advocacy with the national government,
engagement with the ARMM and local government, vigorous
public diplomacy (including student and teacher exchanges),
and consciousness of the larger security environment,
including the GRP-MILF peace process.


¶6. (SBU) Successful implementation of the IDT project will
further assist in bringing the Philippines’ Islamic
educational system into the mainstream. The project should
yield good and valuable results. However, at USD 400,000 for
only 28 direct beneficiaries of a three-week U.S. tour plus a
teacher conference, it comes in at the higher end of
cost-to-benefit calculations compared to other USG programs
now underway in Mindanao. It is essential that such welcome
projects be designed and implemented from the earliest stages
in the closest coordination with current efforts to ensure
the most effective use of USG resources. For the 2005 HRDF,
the Mission’s interagency Education Committee — with
representation from USAID, Peace Corps, Public Affairs, and
the Political Section — will identify promising projects in
country that fill identified gaps in current USG assistance,
in close consultation with Department’s DRL.



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