A total of 22 innovative projects worth P7.2 million were approved for funding under the BEST Innovation Fund as of June 2018, five months since it was launched early this year. The projects are expected to improve teaching delivery and student learning outcomes in 111 schools within the four BEST-assisted regions.

The bulk of the approved projects, most of which aim to improve reading competencies of learners and enhance various senior high school strands, comes from Region V (Bicol region) with a total of 14 division-level and school-level innovations. Region 6 (Western Visayas region) has six approved projects while the remaining two projects come from Region 7 (Central Visayas) and Region 8 (Eastern Visayas). All projects are set to be completed within six months.

Mathematics Motivational Matrices with Materials-Replication of Effective Project for Learner Improvement and Continuous Achievement (MATMOT-REPLICA) is an approved Innovation Fund project by Labo Science and Technology High School of the Division of Camarines Norte.

Also as of June 2018, four of the 22 projects have already delivered major outputs in draft form including the following: i) learning resource package in Chemistry simplifying Periodic Table of Elements (Legaspi City Division); ii) 57 modules for English, 7 daily lesson log (DLL) and 5 activity design for Araling Panlipunan as developed by 14 participating schools (Camarines Sur Division); iii) 8 sets of motivational matrices (MATMOT) for Grade 9 subjects (Camarines Norte Division); and iv) 50 levelled text reading materials in mother tongue for the Grades 1 to 3 (Camarines Sur Division).

BEST Innovation Fund is a funding facility designed to encourage new (from local perspectives) and demand-driven approaches to improve student learning in schools within the BEST regions. It is designed to test new as well as proven ideas or project schemes at the local level which are worth replicating in other regions. Schools and division offices were invited to submit proposals that reflect the priority areas of both DepEd and BEST.

A total of 68 project proposals were received and evaluated by the IF Team but only 22 were approved by the Project Assessment Committee (PAC) composed of the DepEd Reference Group and the BEST IF Team. They were evaluated based on their innovativeness in a local setting (40%), implementation strategy (20%), sustainability (20%), benefits to target beneficiaries (10%) and alignment of approaches with previous studies (10%).

The Fund is part of BEST Program’s support to DepEd in building its capacity to enrich the quality, effectiveness and the efficiency of service delivery under the K to 12 school system. DepEd has committed to sustain the gains of the innovation projects under Phase 2 of its Basic Education Research Fund (BERF).