University of the Philippines (UP) Mindanao Chancellor Lyre Anni E. Murao committed the support of UPMin and its Ugnayan ng Pahinungod volunteer program to the Bangsamoro Junior Scientist Program (BJSP) to Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Education Minister Mohagher Iqbal at the Consultation Workshop and Launching of the BJSP on July 5, 2022 in Cotabato City.
The establishment of the Bangsamoro Junior Scientist Program and the deployment of Gurong Pahinungod volunteers in BARMM are two of the ten programs agreed upon by UP and the BARMM Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by UP President Danilo Concepcion and Minister Iqbal in May 2022.
Chancellor Murao, a biology professor, and UPMin’s Ugnayan ng Pahinungod Director Michael Gatela, who is also a member of the Technical Working Group on the UP and BARMM-MBHTE Partnership, represented UPMin in the BJSP launch.
Murao said UPMin’s partnership with the BARMM’s education ministry aims to deliver responsive, relevant, and quality education for disadvantaged and marginalized learners in the BARMM.
"We commit to doing our best to help craft and implement the Bangsamoro Junior Scientist Program. We have experts willing to share their talents and expertise to help realize this plan,” she said.
“As a scientist, I believe that enhancing our society's capabilities in science, technology, and innovation is essential to pursuing social and economic progress," she adds.
She said science, technology, and innovation could help uplift poor and marginalized groups by bringing about social and economic opportunities and providing affordable solutions to their basic needs.
"I believe that the planned Bangsamoro Junior Scientist Program can significantly contribute to this end,” she said.
Murao said UPMin’s Ugnayan ng Pahinungod and Center for the Advancement of Research in Mindanao (CARIM) look forward to working with the MBTHE and supporting the Bangsamoro Junior Scientist Program to promote the culture of research in the K-12 and contribute to attaining quality and holistic education for the BARMM.
“Moreover, the BARMM is one of the identified priority areas under UP Mindanao's three-year plan (2022-2025) during my term as chancellor. So we look forward to engaging you more often in the coming months in areas of mutual interests," she added.
Director Gatela said UP Mindanao's Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the official volunteer program of UP, is presently calling for volunteers among UP’s graduating students and alumni to serve in the BARMM as Gurong Pahinungods.
“Volunteerism is vital to UP’s ideals of honor and excellence. Aside from other UP units, UP Min has supervised the deployment of 33 Gurong Pahinungod volunteers throughout Mindanao of which six alumni have served as volunteers in the BARMM from 2000-2006,” he said.