BEST is a joint undertaking between the governments of Australia and the Philippines, supported by a facilitating contractor and a number of implementing partners involving both national and international organizations. It is a six-year program (2013-2019) that aims to ensure the improvement of quality, access and governance in the Philippine basic education. It is the 11th partnership program in the field of basic education between the two countries since 1989.

The BEST Program objectives are to contribute to 1) improved quality of education outcomes; 2) more equitable access of all people at all levels of education; and 3) improved service delivery through better governance. At the end of Year 6 (2018-19), the Program wants to see the following outcomes:

  • More children are able to demonstrate improved mastery of basic education curriculum competencies (especially in English, Mathematics and Science) and difference in learning outcomes for boys and girls are reduced in target areas.
  • More boys and girls participate in and complete education in target areas.
  • Department of Education (DepEd) is better able to deliver basic education services that is more gender responsive and inclusive and with greater decentralisation of management and accountability to the field offices and schools.

The Program aims to ensure that DepEd is better able to deliver basic education services that are more gender responsive and inclusive, and with greater decentralization and accountability of the field offices and schools.

The BEST Program seeks to contribute to improving the preparedness of school graduates in the Philippines to participate productively in the workforce, in technical vocational training and to undertake further study. It directly supports the Philippine Government’s shift from a 10-year to a 12-year program for basic education or the Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) reform.


In its final year of implementation (2018-2019), sustainability and application are key underlying principles in the design and approval of BEST Program activities. Aligned with Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper and Secretary Leonor Magtolis-Briones’ Ten Point Agenda for ‘Quality, Accessible, Relevant and Liberating Basic Education for All’, the following activities—divided into three pillars—are aimed at embedding strategies and processes in DepEd programs. They were developed by BEST and DepEd through the Program Support and Coordinating Office (PSCO) and in collaboration with DepEd partners. They were approved by the Program Steering Committee (PSC), the highest governing body for the Program.

Pillar 1: Teacher Development

  • Learning and Development System Trial: Strengthening Standards-Based Teacher Professional Development
  • Development of a Joint DepEd-CHED Policy on the Pre-Service Teachers’ Field Study and Teaching Internship Experiences
  • Systematic Instructional Planning Program (SIPP) in Region 7
  • Development and Validation of Professional Standards for Principals and Supervisors
  • Study of the implementation of PPST and TIP at various levels of DepEd Governance
  • PPST Support Materials for Teachers
  • Results-Based Performance Management (RPMS) Assessment Tools for Year 2 National Roll-out
  • Capability-Building (CB) Series for Faculty of Teacher Education Institutions (TEIs)
  • Ensuring more boys and girls complete basic education in the NCR Region
  • Bureau of Learning Resources (BLR) Capacity-Building Program for Production and Quality Assurance of Learning Resources for Learners with Visual Impairment or Low Vision
  • Phase by Phase Preparation in the Implementation of Open Senior High School Program in Region 10
  • Beyond Horizons for Literacy in Region 6

Pillar 2: Curriculum & Assessment Development

  • Maximizing the use of Pedagogical Retooling in Mathematics, Language and Science (PRIMALS) and other BEST resource packages for division and school -based professional development of teachers
  • Curriculum Review of the K to 12 Program
  • Technical Assistance to Large Scale Assessment Program Implementation
  • Finalization and Implementation of the Division Local Heritage Matrix (DLHM) and the Division Contextualized Curriculum Matrix (DCCM) in DepEd Region V

Pillar 3: Governance & Organizational Development

  • Provision of Technical Assistance to the Department of Education (DepEd) on Policy Development, Planning and Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Continuing Support to Program Management Information Systems (PMIS)
  • Support for Learner Information System (LIS) and Enhanced Basic Education Information System (EBEIS) Transition
  • Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Interventions at DepEd Central Office
  • Enhancement of Donor Coordination and Collaboration Mechanisms at the Department of Education (DepEd)
  • Innovation Fund
  • Enhancement of School-Based Management (SBM) structure, systems, processes at the Department of Education (DepEd)


BEST is designed as a national program, with intensive support provided across six target area regions:

  • National Capital Region
  • Region 5 – Bicol
  • Region 6 – Western Visayas
  • Region 7 – Central Visayas
  • Region 8 – Eastern Visayas, and
  • Region 10 – Northern Mindanao.

BEST also works in a limited capacity in non-BEST Regions, for the following interventions: on classroom construction in consideration of Philippines Government’s priorities, for the Continuous Improvement program and in the development of Learning Action Cells (LACs).

BEST is mainly implemented by Cardno Emerging Markets as the facilitating contractor, in partnership with other institutions and organizations.