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PIA Press Release

86 educators off for Australia study tour

by Mai Gevera

Davao City (26 October) -- Eighty-six selected educators from Regions XI, XII and the ARMM are off to Australia in the last week of October for a study tour, under the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) project.

In three different study tours, these Filipino educators will be exposed to the Australian education system to give them ideas on how to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines.

The first batch of the study tour is the School Management group composed of selected school heads from the three regions. The main focus of the School Management study tour is enhancing the capacity of school heads in the areas of school governing council, performance management, curriculum leadership, physical resource management, leadership centers and quality assurance and accountability at schools and system levels.

The 3-week activity will involve a home-stay program where the Filipino school heads will stay in the homes of their Australian counterparts to experience the warmth of Australian hospitality.

A brother/sister school relationship will also be established between the schools of the visiting Filipino school heads and the hosting schools in Australia. This mutually beneficial relationship is expected to continue on even after the project life of BEAM.

BEAM Pre-Service team is taking 20 educators from its partner Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs) along with selected officials from DepEd XI, XII and the ARMM, Teacher Education Council (TEC) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

The 2 weeks study tour will be undertaken in partnership with the University of South Australia (UniSA) School of Education and South Australian Department of Education and Children Services (DECS). The teacher educators will visit and meet with school principals, site coordinators and cooperating teachers in local elementary and secondary schools, which are hosting pre-service teachers (commonly referred to as student teachers in the Philippines). The purpose of whichs is to identify and adapt the in and off campus administrative requirements for hosting an extended practicum.

The visitors will also meet with TEI supervisors and school-based practicum supervisors from rural, multi-grade and disadvantaged schools to identify and adapt procedures related to practicum administration.

Composing the third batch of the in-Australia study tour are DepEd ARMM senior officials and division training coordinators. Led by BEAM Australian Project Director, D'Arcy Walsh and DepEd Assistant Regional Director and BEAM Philippine Project Manager, Susana Teresa Estigoy.

This delegation will observe and identify specific aspects of the structure, management and delivery of basic education in the Australian education system for two weeks. The specific aspects to be studied are to be determined by ARMM senior management with the Australian system to tailor the program to meet ARMM's needs.

This year's study tours were made possible through the additional support from AusAID in recognition of BEAM's contribution in improving basic education. Since 2003, the BEAM Project has organized several study tours to Australia to provide local educators the chance to learn new teaching and learning strategies, applicable in the Philippine education system. It is anticipated that these strategies will contribute to better student learning outcomes.

BEAM Project is a project of the Department of Education supported by the Government of the Philippines and the Government of Australia, through AusAID. It aims to improve the access to and the quality of basic education in southern and central Mindanao. (BEAM and PIA-XI) [top]

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