AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO STRENGTHEN BASIC EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES
Australia this week launched an innovative partnership with the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and the PHINMA Foundation, Inc to fund an undergraduate scholarship program to encourage more Filipino students to enter the teaching profession. Underprivileged but outstanding high school graduates interested in pursuing a career in public school teaching will be supported through scholarships at the Philippine Normal University.
PBEd is an organisation composed of leaders from the business sector and other private groups advocating for better quality and access to basic education. PHINMA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the PHINMA Group of Companies, is an active member and supporter of PBEd’s programs. Australia’s assistance will be channelled through the PHINMA’s National Scholarship program to support PBEd’s “1,000 Teachers Program”, which aims to encourage the best and the brightest high school students to become teachers.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Rod Smith noted the importance of working closely not just with the Philippine Government and other donors, but also with the private sector. Australia’s partnership with the private sector is a new way of delivering aid, promoting important coordination and cooperation among donors.
“This will ensure that all our efforts complement and directly support the government’s basic education reform agenda. Working together we will achieve better results and more Filipino school children will benefit from increased access to quality education.”
The new scholarship program will help strengthen the Philippine Government’s teacher education and development program by increasing the number of qualified public school teachers in elementary and secondary schools. “In turn, improving the quality of teaching will encourage more students to stay, participate more, and learn better in school,” Ambassador Smith said.
In marking the International Teachers Day on 5 October Ambassador Smith also confirmed Australia’s significant ongoing support for education in the Philippines – totalling around Php2 billion each year.
“Education has the power to transform lives and create futures. Australia is very pleased to assist the Philippines as it faces the important challenge of reforming the basic education system to deliver better education for Filipino children,” Ambassador Smith said.
Australia has a longstanding partnership with the Department of Education that is improving education results. Over the last five years, Australian aid has helped train teachers and introduced new learning and teaching strategies to encourage more students to participate and stay in school. Over 32,000 teachers in English, Science and Math have been trained on new teaching techniques to improve students’ results.