The Republic of Korea through its Korean International Coordinating Agency (KOICA) has donated 10 boxes of children’s books to the Department of Education– International Cooperation Office (DepEd-ICO).
The ten boxes of children’s books were turned over by KOICA to DepEd-ICO Director Margarita Consolacion C. Ballesteros on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. The KOICA team includes Baek Jiyeon, volunteer program coordinator; Sheena Balinsoy, volunteer program manager; and Ronnie Runtal, a staff member.
The DepEd said the donated books will benefit students of Calabarzon (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-RIzal-Quezon) Last-Mile Schools.
“Before their delivery to Calabarzon Last-Mile Schools, samples of the books will be reviewed by the Bureau of Curriculum Development (BCD) and Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR) of the Office of the Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction (OUCI) to ensure that the books are consistent with DepEd issued learning materials,” it said in a statement on Saturday, May 8, posted on the agency’s Facebook page.
DepEd Memo No. 059, series 2019 provides that Last Mile Schools are schools located in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), with indicators such as less than four classrooms, with non-standard rooms, absence of electricity, and no funds for repairs within the last four years.
Other indicators are the following: travel distance of more than an hour from the town center, having multigrade classes, with less than five five teachers, less than 100 learners, and more than 75 percent indigenous people’s learners, based on the memo.
“DepEd, through ICO, is currently exploring areas of possible collaboration with KOICA, which may eventually lead to the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to maximize the benefits of the partnership for basic education stakeholders,” the DepEd said.
ICO, under DepEd Order No. 19, series 2010, is tasked to oversee the agency’s international concerns and serves as a clearinghouse for all its international transactions.
KOICA, on the other hand, is the grant aid agency of the Korean government.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Korea established KOICA in 1991 as a governmental organization for Official Development Assistance (ODA) to enhance the effectiveness of South Korea’s grant aid programs for developing countries by implementing the government’s grant aid and technical cooperation programs.