Philippines, Australia partner to provide Filipino children safer learning environments
04 June 2014
The Philippines and Australia are strengthening their partnership to improve the quality of basic education by providing Filipino schoolchildren safer learning environments.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell and Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro today led the ceremonial handover of two buildings with four classrooms each at San Isidro Elementary School in the municipality of Magalang, Pampanga.
“The Australian Government has been a partner of education for almost two decades,” Secretary Luistro said. He expressed his gratitude to the continuous support of the Australian Government to Philippine education. “They actually listen to our needs, sit down with us to know what are the key things which DepEd needs.”
Secretary Luistro said that providing a safe and resilient environment for the teachers and students is the priority of DepEd. He added, “Every Filipino can contribute in helping create clean and resilient learning environments for our learners.”
The Australian Government provided Php984 million (A$24.6 million) to support DepEd’s School Building Program for Basic Education (SBP4BE). Australia’s contribution helped build 644 classrooms in Region 3 (Central Luzon) and Region 4-A (CALABARZON), benefitting more than 29,000 Filipino schoolchildren. Australia is also supporting improvements in standards and business processes in classroom construction, including in procurement, construction and financial management.
“Like the Philippines, we strongly believe that a good quality education is an antidote to poverty and one that would lead the country towards economic prosperity. Getting children to school and making sure they learn, and making sure that there are systems that support these goals, are the main pillars of Australia’s education program in the Philippines,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
“This is the reason why we continuously support the Department of Education in its efforts to improve the delivery of its services, including ensuring that Filipino students have safer learning environments.”
The classrooms built with Australian support include accessibility considerations to encourage children with disability to participate in school.