BEST, DepEd-NCR launch project to prevent school dropouts
BEST and DepEd National Capital Region (NCR) launched on 2 October 2018 an initiative that will prevent students from dropping out in the schools divisions of Manila, Caloocan City and Quezon City.
Supported by the Australian government through the BEST Program, DepEd NCR has kicked off its Each Class, Every Student in School Succeeds (ECESiS) project, which aims to reduce barriers to accessing education, in divisions which have the highest dropout rates and with many learners who are at risk of dropping out.
NCR identified schools in the schools divisions of Manila, Caloocan and Quezon City that contribute to over 50% of total secondary level dropout in the region and have the greatest number of school-ready children not in school due to economic difficulties and school congestion. A total of 30 schools from the three divisions have been identified to receive direct support from the intervention.
“We are launching a program that speaks about our core business—that of ensuring that our schoolchildren attend school regularly and complete the basic education cycle,” said DepEd NCR OIC-Regional Director Wilfredo E. Cabral in his opening remarks.
“Much like in ecology where ecesis means the process by which a plant or animal becomes established in a new habitat, the aim of the ECESiS project is to ensure that our students find schooling as enjoyable as possible, providing them the necessary assistance, and helping them recognize what they can become in the future.”
Mr. Avelino Mejia, Jr., Senior Program Officer of the Australian Embassy, underscored Australia’s commitment to support DepEd’s priorities in delivering accessible, inclusive and quality education through activities that target improvements in participation in basic education and improvements in teaching and learning.
“When the activities are completed, we hope there would be increased capacity in the three schools division offices and schools to address the barriers to learning. This could potentially help NCR reach its target of improving education access in 75 percent of schools in these divisions by 1.17 percent improvement in Net Enrolment Ratio per year,” Mr. Mejia said.
The launch was highlighted by the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DepEd–NCR represented by OIC-Regional Director Wilfredo E. Cabral and the schools divisions of Caloocan represented by Dr. Aileen Canoy; Manila represented by Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Jenilyn Rose B. Corpuz; and Quezon City represented by Dr. Marietta Caballero and Dr. Myrna Cabatbat.
The agreement articulates the commitment of the three divisions to implement the ECESiS project in selected schools and share these lessons and best practices with other schools divisions. This will include the sharing of learning and teaching materials, strategies and pedagogies.
In closing the launch, BEST Deputy Team Leader Ms. Hazel Aniceto said she found it exciting that the heart of all of the divisions’ projects, as presented during the program, were their learners.
“All your presentations talk about the learners as the focus of your interventions. This is where we intersect with BEST because BEST is a program that is for the learners. And while our support is limited to those selected schools, you’re thinking more broadly in terms of how you can deliver similar programs in your other schools outside of the BEST support. That is truly systemic and something that will make this project sustainable,” Ms. Aniceto said.
Specific interventions per division under the project as supported by Australia and BEST are the following:
- Divisions of Quezon City and Manila: Identifying students at risk of dropping out, strengthening the Alternative Delivery Model (ADM) of instruction, promoting student activities and home visits, orienting parents and strengthening guidance skills of teachers.
- Division of Caloocan: Identifying learners not in school and enrolling them in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program.
- All three Divisions: Jointly train teachers in the use of ADM learning materials in English, Math and Science for Grades 7 to 10, and reproduce learning materials
The ECESiS launch also started the three-day Training on the Use of Alternative Delivery Mode Learning Materials for the Secondary Level in English, Math and Science participated in by classroom teachers from the three schools divisions.