The Department of Education (DepEd) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) signed the Memorandum of Subsidiary Arrangement (MSA) for the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program to boost the education agenda at Neptali Gonzales High School in Mandaluyong, Friday.
“DepEd and AusAID have been partners in pushing the educational agenda for 15 years. This new partnership signifies the commitment of both parties to attain quality education for Filipino learners,” Secretary of Education Armin Luistro said adding that AusAID had always helped the education sector by implementing projects across the country—some of which covered Basic Education Assistance in Mindanao (BEAM), Technical Vocational Educational Project, School Building Projects for Basic Education, and other projects in partnership with DepEd.
The BEST Program, a Aus$150M six-year program, aims to assist the Philippines in improving learning quality and access to education in the context of the K to 12 program. The program would aid in teacher development, boost a unified management and information system, enhance education leadership and management, promote gender sensitive education, and advance curriculum, assessment and materials.
“Through BEST, there will be additional 1,000 classrooms, 40 science and computer laboratories, and two Indigenous Peoples’ Learning Centers for our learners,” said Luistro.
In addition to this, scholarships and trainings for teachers would be provided. A technology and research center focusing on Assessment, Curriculum and ICT in education would be established through this program. It would also aid in strengthening DepEd’s capacity for disaster preparedness.
The program would improve teaching and learning and strengthen systems within the Department. BEST would work at the national level and would provide intensive support to six regions initially—National Capital Region, Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.
Present at the signing of MSA were Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell, Commission of Higher Education Chairperson Patricia Licuanan, and Mayor Benjamin Abalos, Jr.