New U.S. & Philippines Partnership to Boost Reading, Numeracy, & Socio-Emotional Learning

Ms. Universe 2010 4th Runner-up Venus Raj reads with Oranbo Elementary School students at the ABC+ project launch.

Manila — As part of its continuing commitment to improve education outcomes for Filipino youth, the U.S. government today launched the Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+) project to support Department of Education (DepEd) efforts to strengthen the quality of education in the Philippines. U.S. Chargé d’Affaires John Law and representatives from DepEd formally led the launch ceremonies.

The approximately Php2 billion ($38.5 million) project will support the Department of Education in enhancing reading, math, and socio-emotional skills of at least two million students in Regions 5 (Bicol) and 6 (Western Visayas).

In his remarks, Chargé Law said, “As a friend, partner, and ally, the United States remains committed to the quality of basic education for the benefit of all Filipinos.” He noted that “with better access to education, citizens can make well-informed choices and have better opportunities.”

DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said, “We are thankful for the unwavering commitment of our partners, especially now that we are intent to pivot our focus from improving access to enhancing the quality of basic education in the country.”

The project will boost DepEd systems for teachers’ professional development, materials development, and managing public funds for basic education. It will also build the capacity of school teachers and administrators at regional and local levels to ensure that improvements reach all schools in the target regions.

U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) John Law (right) and Department of Education Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction Diosdado San Antonio shook hands during the Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+) project launch.

The project will work with local governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders to leverage local resources to improve the quality of education.

Dr. Alberto Fenix Jr. of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) also spoke at the launch about the project’s importance to the private sector. “PCCI and its national network of business associations, chambers, enterprises, and schools are fully supportive of this project, which will better prepare our children for the world of work,” he said.

As part of the launch, Bicolana beauty queen Venus Raj and Ms. Philippines Earth 2019 Janelle Tee held a read-along session with students from Oranbo Elementary School.

ABC+ is implemented in partnership with RTI International, together with The Asia Foundation, SIL LEAD, and Florida State University.

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