WASHINGTON, June 23, 2023 – Nearly two million elementary school students and over 60,000 teachers and school leaders in Mindanao, including in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), will benefit from a new project approved today by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors.
The US$110 million Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project (TEACEP) aims to improve learning outcomes for children in kindergarten to grade 6 (K-6). It will do this by delivering professional development opportunities to teachers through a comprehensive coaching and professional development program. School leaders and supervisors will also receive training to enable them to better support and guide teachers in their instructional practices.
TEACEP builds upon the Department of Education's (DepEd) existing coaching program, transforming it into a more advanced and comprehensive professional development initiative for teachers and instructional leaders. Concentrating on enhancing literacy, numeracy, and socioemotional skills for K-6 students, the coaching program will also emphasize peacebuilding, gender-sensitive instruction, climate and disaster resilience, and inclusive education.
Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand noted that TEACEP is part of the World Bank’s continuing support to boost human capital in the Philippines. “Education is a key driver of development, as it equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to participate in the workforce, contribute to the economy, and improve their standard of living,” Diop explained.
To improve access to quality learning, especially among the most disadvantaged students, the project will also support provision of digital materials and physical resources, such as tablets, to students, teachers, and coaches. For “last-mile schools” in remote and disadvantaged areas, the project will support the airing of radio-based instructions and TV programs and provide solar-powered transistor radios with built-in lights which can help schools with limited access to electricity continue instruction even during weather-induced emergencies.
DepEd, in collaboration with the BARMM Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education will implement the project in three regions in Western Mindanao. These include Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region XII (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) and BARMM. These regions, which have high dropout rates, below-average enrollment rates, low performance in reading and math scores, and significant indigenous populations, offer invaluable insights for national educational improvements.
“Focusing educational interventions in these regions known to be among the poorest in Mindanao can have a powerful impact, providing opportunities for people and communities to improve their lives, while also yielding valuable lessons for boosting the overall quality of education nationwide,” said World Bank Senior Economist Sachiko Kataoka.
In the past decade, the country has increased investments in basic education and seen improvements in enrolment. Government spending on education increased to 3.7 percent of GDP in 2020 from only 2.3 percent in 2010. Learning outcomes, however, remained weak and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenge.
As a response, DepEd developed online lessons, modular-based remote learning, and TV and radio-based programs to support learning for all students including those in remote areas without internet connectivity. Post-pandemic, DepEd has been focusing on learning recovery and acceleration. TEACEP aligns with these efforts and will contribute to the DepEd's latest initiative, the Basic Education Report 2023, which introduces National Reading and Mathematics Programs to build foundational literacy and numeracy.