THE National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has cited the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology’s (BJMP) first Madrasah graduation in Zamboanga City Jail (ZCJ) Male Dormitory on Friday, January 26.
Darlhata Musa, NCMF regional office’s Cultural Affairs Division chief, expressed their agency’s sincere appreciation for the BJMP’s efforts on Islamic education inside ZCJ.
A total of 74 Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) who are Muslim have completed a seven-month Madrasah studies on Friday, January 26, at the BJMP-administered ZCJ.
“To the management of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, may Allah bless you for this Madrasah and may this be the first of many,” Dalhata said during the graduation ceremony.
“You are giving our Muslim brothers an enormous opportunity to fulfill one of the goals of their religion. Little by little, class by class, knowledge after knowledge, you are changing their lives,” she added.
The oldest of the 74 graduates from Tahderiyyah, which basically covers the Arabic alphabet or the Al-abjadiyah, is a 61-year-old male PDL while the youngest student is 20 years old.
Superintendent Xavier Solda, ZCJ male dormitory warden, said the program, which started in July 2023, is part of the continuing jail management reforms at the reformatory facility.
“Our strong desire for the PDL to continue their Islamic education is anchored on the obligation of the State to protect the right to education of every Filipino while consistently promoting the free exercise of religion,” Solda said in an interview with reporters.
“We envision that through the education programs here in madrasah, we can create a community of compassionate and knowledgeable peacemakers among the PDL under our care,” Solda added.
Meanwhile, Director Ruel Rivera, BJMP chief, commended the ZCJ male dormitory for their initiative to establish a “madrasah” in their jail unit, which is reflective of the bureau’s direction toward inclusive education and free exercise of religion.
“We applaud this pioneering initiative of Zamboanga City Jail Male Dormitory, which stands as a testament to the bureau’s strong desire toward holistic reformation inside our jail,” Rivera said.
“Together with our colleagues and the families of PDL, we celebrate this important journey of our Muslim brothers behind bars toward rehabilitation,” Rivera added.
The NCMF has donated sets of the Holy Quran, sejarah or prayer mats, and textbooks for the PDL students after Friday’s graduation ceremony. (SunStar Zamboanga)