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PIA Press Release
2007/09/13

USAID, AusAID continue joint education initiative in Mindanao

Zamboanga City (September 13) -- Building on previous collaborative efforts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) trained 134 teachers, school heads, and division supervisors from 18 public schools across the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on teaching beginning reading to Grade One students. The trainings were conducted on August 20-24 and August 27-31 in Cotabato City and Zamboanga City, respectively.

Called the Beginning Reading Program, the joint effort is carried out by USAID's Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills (EQuALLS) and AusAID's Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) program.

Teachers were trained in devising innovative and engaging methods of teaching beginning reading to first-graders. They were likewise trained in assessing the readiness of pupils to begin formal schooling thereby allowing them to tailor-fit their lessons according to the readiness of the class.

Department of Education ARMM Secretary Udtog Kawit has acknowledged the contributions that USAID and AusAID are making to improve the capacity of teachers in ARMM, which is a region that continues to require significant assistance to develop teaching capacity and provide students access to quality basic education.

Mrs. Shirley Dawila, principal of Provincial Housing Lab Elementary School in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, says "the Beginning Reading program will help us solve the problem of non-readers in our school. After this training, I want to witness the teacher's class and see to it that she follows the program."

Earlier this year USAID and AusAID jointly trained 4,000 teachers in the ARMM on teaching English, science, and math. Two other follow-through trainings are set for November this year and January next year.

EQuALLS' partnership with the BEAM project for the Beginning Reading program is a step towards EQuALLS' goal of improving education quality in Mindanao, especially in areas where learning is disrupted by poverty and conflict. (EQuALLS/PIA Z.C.) [top]

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