Today is: Wed, June 19, 2013
The relationship between education and development is clear. In the Philippines, education is regarded as the key in the fight against poverty, which explains why heads of families toil and sacrifice to send their children to good schools in the hope of a better future. Low education quality and access are key indicators of a high level of poverty.
The UNDP’s 2008/2009 Philippine Human Development Report lists the top five of the 10 provinces in the country with the lowest human development indices (measured in terms of standard of living, education, and life expectancy rate) as those in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and two other Mindanao provinces — Sarangani in Region 12 and Zamboanga del Norte in Region 9 — as seventh and ninth, respectively. About 21% of ARMM villages do not have schools, and in those with schools, student-teacher ratios are 80-100 to 1. Though 93% of the school-age population enrolls in grade one, 60% drop out before they complete elementary school, and the region’s percentage of high school graduates is the lowest nationwide.
These factors, along with the conflict and the lack of job-creating investments in the ARMM, have contributed to the high unemployment rate in the region and the feared concomitant spread therein of criminality and unrest.
The primary purpose of the Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS2) Project is to improve quality and access to basic education in areas most affected by poverty and conflict in the Philippines, specifically the ARMM and Regions 9 and 12 in Mindanao, and to provide alternative learning opportunities, including livelihood training, to out-of-school youth in these regions.
The primary focus of efforts to improve both the quality of and access to basic education is on grades 1-3. Poor teaching and learning in grades 1-3, overcrowded classes, and lack of access to schools or effective alternative learning opportunities present barriers to students' ability to learn, which lead to poor achievement and inordinately high illiteracy and drop-out rates. Some activities may address math, science, and English at other grade levels, but the academic focus remains primarily at the elementary level, up to grade 6.
EQuALLS2 also supports programs that reintegrate out-of-school youth into the peaceful, productive economy.
EQuALLS2 is working closely with the national and ARMM Departments of Education and local governments to increase learning opportunities for around 300,000 children and youth in the ARMM and Regions 9 and 12.
From July 2006 to July 2011, the project will construct or renovate 900 classrooms; train 35,000 teachers in English, science, and math; train 75% of all administrators and officials from its assisted schools in school finance, management, and governance; distribute almost two million books and learning aids; and revitalize 850 local educational organization structures.
EQuALLS2 will also construct or renovate 400 Community Learning Centers as venues for alternative learning programs for 70,000 out-of-school children and youth to either reintegrate them into the formal school system or give them opportunities to gain accreditation and equivalency certificates, will and will offer workforce development programs to 35,000 out-of-school youth either through short-term livelihood skills training, or through technical-vocational certificate courses.
EQuALLS2 is being implemented by a team of local and international organizations with expertise in education and youth development, led by the Education Development Center. It also has partnerships with the U.S. Peace Corps - Philippines, the Joint Special Operations Task Force (JSOTF) in the Philippines, the US-based Brother’s Brother Foundation, Petron Foundation, Microsoft Philippines, and the National Book Store Foundation.
Chief, Office of Education
Tel. No. 301-6000
- Success Stories
- Basic Education
- Workforce Development
- Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS2)