October 22, 2020 - Thursday
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Davao City, Philippines

USAID hands over emergency learning kits to quake-hit schools

September 25, 2020 - Friday 12:09 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image USAID ASSISTANCE. Department of Education officials, teachers, and parents in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur receive educational kits from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) during a turnover ceremony in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur on Sept. 22. (Contributed photo)

DAVAO CITY – As part of its broad education assistance in the Philippines, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated 14,436 student’s kits and 400 teacher’s kits to earthquake-hit schools in Davao del Sur on Sept 22.

The kits were handed over virtually to the Department of Education (DepEd) officials in Manila and physically to DepEd officials, teachers, and parents in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur.

“The series of earthquakes that hit Davao del Sur in December last year damaged nearly 400 schools affecting 188,000 students. We reached out to our partners to help the teachers and students recover, and thankfully USAID responded,” said Ronilda Co, DepEd Director for Disaster Risk Reduction Management Service (DRRMS).

Each teacher’s kit contains basic teaching and learning supplies to help ensure the delivery of education services even in times of disasters. Teachers from Kinder to Grade 3 (K-3) will be able to use the contents of their kits to ensure their well-being and prepare for their lessons in their chosen learning delivery modalities.

“In the last few months, the regional and division office of Davao del Sur worked with USAID to pack and deliver the kits to a total of 89 elementary schools in the hardest-hit municipalities of Bansalan, Matanao, and Magsaysay,” said Dr. Evelyn Fetalvero, DepEd Region 11 Director. 

Students from Kinder to Grade 3 will receive back-to-school starter kits, including a backpack, a water tumbler, an umbrella, a pad of paper, a writing notebook, crayons, pencils, and a plastic envelope.

“Whether students are learning from the classroom or from their homes, education resources are essential.  Beginning from the first day of school, having needed classroom supplies at home boosts students’ confidence and fosters their love for learning. By ensuring children have access to education that is safe, relevant and promotes social well-being, USAID is helping young students gain the foundational skills they need to lead productive and healthy lives,” said Tom LeBlanc, Office of Education Director of USAID Philippines.

Around 969,501 learners in 1,608 schools in Regions 11 and 12 were affected by the series of earthquakes that struck Mindanao in October and December 2019. It was reported that DepEd would need at least PHP7 billion to cover the repair and reconstruction of damaged classrooms, school furniture, learning materials, and equipment.

“Despite the challenges that abound this year and the years to come, the DepEd and its committed and resilient teachers will deliver basic education with support from partners like the USAID,” DepEd Undersecretary for Administration Alain Del Pascua said.