Manila – From October 12 to 29, the U.S. Peace Corps and the Department of Education (DepEd) conducted a series of virtual trainings on utilizing newly developed distance learning materials for over 1,000 teachers, principals, and supervisors from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
This series of trainings marks the culmination of a 14-month collaboration between Peace Corps and DepEd to develop and validate learning activity sheets before training educators to use them and then distributing them to students in indigenous communities, geographically isolated areas, and some of the most resource-challenged communities in the Philippines. It is jointly funded by DepEd and Peace Corps, with support from the United States Agency for International Development.
A central part of the DepEd’s plan is to ensure students continue to meet basic education learning outcomes during the pandemic, and the learning activity sheets will supplement existing self-learning modules for students in over 8,000 multi-grade schools nationwide and cover all key subjects, including Mathematics, Science, and English.
“Studies show that high-quality instructional materials significantly increase academic outcomes by allowing students to engage more deeply and meaningfully with their learning. This has never been more important than now, with students still schooling online due to the ongoing pandemic,” said DepEd Bureau of Learning Delivery Director Leila Areola.
International Cooperation Office Director Margarita Ballesteros highlighted the importance of the joint U.S. Peace Corps-DepEd effort, saying “this partnership is anchored on the 10-point agenda of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones and the Sulong Edukalidad advocacy of the Department of Education, as well as the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan.”
The U.S. Peace Corps is the U.S. government’s premier volunteer organization and has supported Filipino students since 1961. Over 9,300 American volunteers have served as co-teachers or filled other roles requested by host communities across the Philippines.
Although there are presently no volunteers in the Philippines due to COVID-19, Peace Corps is devoting all other available resources to supporting DepEd and other partners in responding to and recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.