By Roy Mabasa
The United States government is providing P126 million (US$2.5 million) to help the Philippines in its implementation of the Basic Education-Learning Continuity Plan (BE-LCP), a program to enable Filipino schoolchildren to continue learning while schools are still closed amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic.
According to the US embassy in Manila, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide teachers with instruction strategies and learning materials designed for use in both school and home learning environments.
In addition, the USAID will assist DepEd to develop rapid, easy-to-use assessment tools for teachers to gauge and support students’ literacy skills once they can return to school.
USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy said: “The US government, through USAID, remains committed to ensuring young students have the opportunity to continue to learn despite the challenges that COVID-19 has created.”
Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has adopted the BE-LCP that would give way to the reopening of classes on August 24 to April 31 for K-12 Basic Education.
Under its partnership with DepEd, USAID will support the design of activities that parents can implement at home. It also strengthens the capacity of teachers to support parents in providing effective home learning activities to reinforce language comprehension.
The US agency will likewise partner with the private sector and local media companies to disseminate advice through radio broadcasts and other platforms on how to help children continue learning during school closures.
For more than 50 years, the United States has been supporting Philippine education and continues to work closely with DepEd in advancing the latter’s Sulong EduKalidad program to improve the quality of education and learning outcomes in the country.
Some 27.7 million Filipino children and youth are at risk of significant learning loss due to extended school closures and disruptions during the pandemic.