Manila, May 9, 2018 — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) completed its five-year, Php1.9 billion Basa Pilipinas project, which improved literacy and reading comprehension among more than 1.8 million students from kindergarten to grade three. USAID partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement the project in eight school divisions in the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Cebu, and Bohol, and the cities of Mandaue, San Fernando, and Tagbilaran.
The Basa project strengthened the reading skills of more than 1.8 million students from kindergarten to grade three, trained more than 19,000 teachers and school heads, and provided more than 9 million copies of teacher guides, storybooks, and other education aids to 3,000 public elementary schools in the Philippines. Although the project has concluded, the materials and training will continue to positively impact students’ reading abilities in the eight school divisions.
During the project, USAID and DepEd sought to better understand how early-grade readers succeed in order to implement proven practices more widely in the future. For example, USAID piloted the use of computer tablets for reading lessons, increasing their fluency and comprehension in both English and Filipino by as much as 20 percent.
DepEd Undersecretary Dr. Lorna Dig-Dino, USAID’s Office of Education Director Brian Levey, and DepEd representatives marked the project’s completion at an April 25 ceremony alongside educators and representatives from non-governmental organizations.
“USAID has been working in the Philippines for over 50 years and a large part of our assistance is in education,” explained Levey. “We believe that education is crucial for development and that the foundation of education begins with reading.”
At the completion ceremony, DepEd representatives, school heads, and teachers discussed how to apply successful practices from the Basa project to achieve greater literacy among Filipino students.
“We are grateful to USAID for the continuous effort to help our learners gain the very critical skill of reading,” said DepEd Undersecretary Dig-Dino. “Moving forward, we must continue to support our dedicated teachers so that these successful approaches are used and sustained in our classrooms.”
USAID is the lead U.S. government agency for international development and disaster assistance. In the Philippines, USAID partners with the national government to build a more stable, prosperous, and well-governed nation. For more information, visit http://www.usaid.gov/philippines or email firstname.lastname@example.org.