The US Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provided an additional P63 million and school equipment for post-disaster education needs in 19 municipalities in Iloilo, Capiz and Bohol.
USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele witnessed the signing of an agreement between the mayors, school principals and Synergeia Foundation, USAID’s implementing partner for the Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) Project, which will help elementary public schools in the target provinces get back on track towards improving learning outcomes.
“Hugpong sa Pagbangon,” Ilonggo vernacular for “rising up together,” is the post-disaster component of EdGE that will provide community incentive grants, disaster preparedness workshops, and teaching and learning materials. Over 450 schools, 3,800 teachers and 35,000 early grade students will directly benefit from the assistance.
“USAID is your partner in building back better. In addition, this supports our broader goal of strengthening local education governance towards improving early grade reading for at least one million Filipino children,” director Steele said.
Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. of Iloilo expressed his appreciation for the “sincerity and gesture of commitment of the American government to the Filipino people.”
EdGE seeks to improve education governance at the local level through strengthened government effectiveness, increased transparency and accountability, and increased participation of stakeholders in education policy formulation and implementation.
USAID also led the ceremonial handover of audiovisual equipment such as laptops, printers, televisions and projectors at the Dumangas Municipal Gymnasium.
Mayor Rolando Distura of Dumangas remarked that the school equipment provided by the US government will improve classroom instruction and enhance the quality of education.
PTA Federation President Serafin Deduro Jr. added that with the school’s inadequate resources, the teaching materials to be given by USAID will enhance students’ learning.
Overall, the US government’s support is estimated at approximately P6.3 billion to help the people of the Philippines respond to, and recover from, the devastating effects of Typhoon Yolanda.