THE Department of Education (DepEd) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a bilateral agreement for basic education programs that aim to increase access to quality education for vulnerable populations such as out-of-school youth and students in conflict-affected areas.
The five-year agreement pledges P580 million ($12.9 million) in US assistance through USAID for basic education programs throughout the Philippines.
“This bilateral education agreement will sustain and reinvigorate our combined efforts to ensure that the Philippines continues its rise as a regional and global leader in this new century,” Brian Goldbeck, US deputy chief of mission, said.
“It also symbolizes the continued partnership between our two nations that began over a century ago with the arrival of about 500 American Thomasite teachers,” Goldbeck, who is also a former teacher, added.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that through this partnership, the department will be able to open educational opportunities not only for students who reside in conflict-torn areas but to all Filipino children.
Under the agreement, DepEd and USAID will provide skills training to youth, promote community engagement and peace education, increase the capacity of teachers and youth leaders to meet the education needs of youth and vulnerable population through alternative learning in areas affected by crisis and conflict.
The partnership intends to strengthen education governance at national and local levels. It also aims to empower the local government units, communities and stakeholders to deliver education and training service for out-of-school youth and to increase their employability by providing equitable access to relevant education and skills training.
Luistro also urged the public to take a stand in education and take an active part in shaping the future that every Filipino learner deserves.