The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is located in the Mindanao island group of Philippines. It is composed of five predominantly Muslim provinces with a population of 3.2 million. The ARMM region has the lowest education performance in both elementary and secondary levels. Students perform poorly in Basic Education Indicators such as low participation rates, low preparedness for school, high drop-out rates and high illiteracy rates.

We established ourselves in the ARMM region to implement the alternative delivery model (ADM) project, a component of Australian government-funded, Basic Education Assistance in Muslim Mindanao (BEAM) programme. The project aims to improve access to and quality of kindergarten and elementary education in the region particularly in areas with no government schools or ones with poor access to education. The kindergarten is for 5 years old children and the elementary is for 6-9 years old children who never enrolled in or dropped out from schools.

We follow the Philippines’ government’s curriculum which covers kindergarten and 12 years of basic education. The content of the curriculum and instructional materials are contextualized in accordance with the socio-cultural background of the ARMM children.