/ 17 September 2020

THE DEPARTMENT of Education has tapped the United States Agency for International Development to assist in the implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students through ABC+ project.

Launched in July 2019, ABC+ project is a 5-year partnership of USAID and DepEd that aims to improve literacy, numeracy, and social and emotional learning of little children.

“The project started in July of 2019 and by March 2020, we have been able to conduct our consultations with DepEd field and central office personnel for guidance on priority areas. We have also been able to conduct our baseline studies,” USAID’s Chief of Party Ina Aquino said.

“Having received our training recognition from the NEAP [National Educators Academy of the Philippines], we were ready to roll out in the summer period but like everyone else, we had to pivot, adjust, and adapt when the pandemic was declared. We made a few but a very major adjustment to our way of working,” Aquino added.

The program is deemed more important now as the country transitioned to distance learning because of the Covid19 pandemic.

Through the program, almost 4,500 teachers were able to train on how to strategize learning and how to transition from school to home study. The initiative also produced some home learning guides and learner activity sheets to aid the young students in their distance learning. It will also provide various technical assistance in figuring out learning delivery modalities, especially to K-3 learners.

“One of the schools, in fact, reported that they have already used the materials from the training to train parents and other home learning facilitators. So, natutuwa po kami roon. Nagamit na nila at na-train na po ‘yung ibang mga parents,” Aquino said.

The project will also assist parents who will play a key role in the education of their children under the new normal.

Joenill Rubios, a parent from Parang Elementary School in Camarines Norte, said that he realized the mammoth challenges the education sector is facing after training under the program.

“Sa kabila ng napakaraming hamon na aking nakita at nakikita, mas klaro pa rin sa akin ang gusto kong makamtan. ‘Yon ay ang magandang kinabukasan ng aking mga anak na makukuha nila sa pamamagitan ng isang magandang edukasyon,” Rubios said.

The project came out with a set of rapid assessment tools to determine the learners’ reading level so that all the necessary interventions could be applied.

It will also create a platform to help DepEd in collecting all necessary feedback from the field.

“We salute all unnamed frontliners in the communities, school heads, teachers, parents, and community workers. We, at ABC+, through the support of USAID, are here to support the DepEd and the communities they serve,” Aquino said.

Education Secretary Leonor Briones thanked the organizations who shared their resources to support DepEd’s initiatives this coming school year.

“This is why we decided this session, we would feature a few of those many groups and institutions who have reached out to us, who have volunteered and who have offered their experience, their learnings, their facilities to help out in the challenges of education,” Briones said.