USAID, Synergeia to make learning more fun in Iloilo  

ILOILO – Thousands of pupils in Grades 1 and 2 in all public schools in typhoon-ravaged towns here will find learning fun again with the help of United States Agency for International Development and Synergeia Foundation.

This is expected after USAID Mission Director for Philippines Gloria Steele and Synergeia Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Milwida Guevara launched the Hugpong sa Pagbangon (Rising Up Together) in a ceremony held in Iloilo City.

Hugpong sa Pagbangon is a project under the Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) of USAID that aims to improve, among others, the basic education and literacy of pupils in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

According to Program Manager Rafael Coscolluela, the project will be implemented in 19 local government units in the Visayas wherein 13 are in the Province of Iloilo.

These are Ajuy, Alimodian, Batad, Balasan, Barotac Viejo, Cabatuan, Carles, Estancia, Concepcion, Dumangas, Lemery, San Enrique and Mina.  The six others will be in Capiz (four towns) and Bohol (two towns).

“This project will make a ray of sunshine for the pupils and teachers in schools affected by the super typhoon and we hope that this can help learning more fun for them,” said the former governor of Negros Occidental and a trustee of Synergeia Foundation.

Under this project, all the public elementary schools in 19 LGUs will be provided with P70,000 grant each which they can use to purchase teaching equipment, books, computers, wifi access and reproduction of learning materials (e.g. photocopying machines).

On top of the grant, each pupil in Grades 1 and 2 will be provided with school supplies worth Php475.00, while their teachers will have Php1,475.00 each for the improvement of their teaching aids.

“We choose to implement it in Grades 1 and 2 because these are the crucial years in child development. This is actually the stage where they learn how to read and write,” Steele explained.

Steele added that the project will last for one year or until the end of the next school year but the EdGE will be until 2018.

EdGE, which started in 2013, seeks to improve education governance through decentralization, with the end goal of improving learning outcomes, particularly early grade reading for at least one million children in 50 LGUs in the Philippines.

Aside from this, Steele said that USAID is also helping the government rebuild schools, clinics and variety stores in Visayas, particularly in Leyte and Samar.

USAID is also providing micro finance to the survivors to help them get back on their feet. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)


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