UNESCO, DepEd, KOICA launch ALS project to help improve lives of out-of-school girls

July 17, 2017

PASIG CITY, July 17, 2017 – More young Filipinas now have a better chance at quality education and improved opportunities as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Department of Education (DepEd), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) launched the “Better Life for Out-of-School Girls to Fight Against Poverty and Injustice in the Philippines” project on July 12-14 at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Center for Educational Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH) in Quezon City.
The project aims to help improve the quality of life for girls living in poverty through the establishment and operation of a Girls Education Center. Furthermore, it endeavors to increase the passing rate among out-of-school girls who took the Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test after completing the DepEd’s Alternative Learning System (ALS).  The project also seeks to improve the quality of instructional knowledge and skills of ALS mobile teachers and implement the use of K to 12 ALS teaching and learning materials for out-of-school girls.
The pilot locations of the project will be in Tacloban City and the municipality of Palo in the province of Leyte.
“Education is a basic human right enshrined, protected, and promoted by the Philippine Constitution, but gender-based disadvantage is a reality that Filipinas, especially the youth, still encounter. As we continue expanding and intensifying the delivery of education for all through K to 12 and ALS, we are thankful to partner organizations in helping us reach learners who are isolated by their varying personal circumstances,” Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones emphasized.
The project is anchored on a study that identified a multitude of challenges faced by learners, especially girls, resulting in dropping out of schools. These setbacks include economic, health, and social factors, among others. The generous support of the Government of the Republic of Korea, through KOICA, made the $6 million-dollar project possible.
Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin shared that, “As the new Philippine Development Plan has stressed, education is a cornerstone of sustainable and equitable development. In particular, appropriate educational services for vulnerable classes, such as out-of-school girls, are essential for enhancing social inclusion and welfare. In this regard, this project is very meaningful because it provides these girls with alternative learning opportunities and helps them complete their basic education.”
The project responds to current reforms being implemented in the Philippine educational system. This year, the roll out of Grade 12 in Senior High School (SHS) saw the full implementation of the K to 12 curriculum. UNESCO, with its experiences, expertise, and network of experts in education, extends its support to DepEd.
UNESCO Jakarta Office Director and Representative, Dr. Shahbaz Khan, in his remarks, expressed his appreciation and recognition to DepEd and KOICA for the continued cooperation and partnership, “UNESCO is committed in supporting the Government of the Philippines, through the Department of Education, in its efforts towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 4-Quality Education. And most especially in its efforts to bring quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for all with focus for those children who are the lost, last, and least.”