The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), turned over 150 laptop computers, printers, projectors, and 80 sets of learning materials to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Tuesday, October 6, as part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to support the Philippine government’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II led the handover ceremony with Assistant Secretary for Alternative Learning Systems (ALS) G.H. Ambat, who accepted the donations on behalf of DepEd. USAID’s assistance augments DepEd’s efforts to help ensure continuity of education, especially for vulnerable out-of-school youth. In the coming weeks, USAID will provide more than 400 laptops, computers, printers, projectors, and other related materials worth Php34 million ($700,000) to DepEd’s ALS Task Force.
This assistance is part of USAID’s Opportunity 2.0, a five-year, Php1.9-billion ($37.5 million) project that works with DepEd, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and local governments to support their ongoing programs to provide relevant education, employability skills, and work experience to out-of-school youth.
In addition, DepEd’s five “e-Skwela Centers” will receive computers and other related equipment to increase access to technology and learning in these communities. Opportunity 2.0 is also training teachers on blended learning approaches and will develop interactive audio instruction materials that can be used by those isolated by distance or lack of infrastructure.
Opportunity 2.0 is implemented by U.S.-based Education Development Center (EDC) with DepEd, TESDA, Accenture, Philippine Business for Education, Catholic Relief Services, Voluntary Services Overseas, and SEAMEO INNOTECH. USAID’s assistance will benefit 180,000 youth in more than 12 cities across the Philippines.