Manila, October 27, 2021—As part of its continuing efforts to improve reading outcomes and basic education for children in the Philippines, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over 44,000 Minasbate language supplementary reading materials to the Department of Education (DepEd) at a virtual event on October 25. The event also recognized writers, illustrators, editors, and quality assurance evaluators of Minasbate mother tongue reading materials.
USAID, through its ABC+: Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines project, and DepEd Region V piloted the development of K–3 supplementary reading materials in mother tongue languages such as Minasbate and Rinconada for the Bicol region. These materials, which include 67 Minasbate language decodable and leveled reader books, will reach more than 41,000 Minasbate learners in Grades 1 through 3 and almost 3,000 teachers and school heads in Region V.
“By providing K-3 learners in different regions access to reading materials contextualized to their own language, we believe that children can be better supported as they transition their reading ability from mother tongue to Filipino and English,” said USAID Philippines Deputy Director of Education Yvette Malcioln in a video message during the event.
The books are aligned with DepEd’s Most Essential Learning Competencies and promote social and emotional skills, gender equality and social inclusion, and care for the environment.
“We are very grateful to USAID for bringing this activity to Masbate. The production of 67 Minasbate language decodable and leveled reader books is something that is now marked in the history of DepEd, that we are able to have this material for our K-3 learners,” said DepEd Regional Director Gilbert Sadsad.
USAID will distribute more than 13 million supplementary reading materials written in different mother tongue languages, Filipino, and English in the 2021-2022 school year. These materials will benefit more than 500,000 early grade learners in Region V (Bicol), Region VI (Western Visayas), and Maguindanao.
For the past 60 years, USAID has partnered with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than Php258 billion ($5.1 billion) to support the Philippines since 1961.