ADB and JPRAP-funded Project Supports Learning in Last Mile Schools
By: Rosmindo L. Ancheta, Jr.
Education Program Supervisor, School Governance & Operations Division
Department of Education, Division of Zamboanga Sibugay
DepEd - Zamboanga Sibugay - Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JPRAP) financed a project under the EdTech Solutions for Last Mile Schools in COVID-19 program in Zamboanga Sibugay Schools Division of Region IX. SDO Sibugay is one of the four school divisions throughout the country which is lucky to have been chosen. Bacalan National High School (NHS) of Ipil District and Sta. Fe NHS of Titay District were among the 21 national high schools nationwide identified to implement said project.
A total of 533 students from these schools are among the 3,500 Junior High School students of the selected schools nationwide who are provided with tablets and other IT equipment. This is part of ADB’s $2.4 million grant in support for distance learning among secondary schools which are considered last mile schools during and beyond COVID 19 pandemic.
At a ceremony in Pasig City on April 12, 2022, Department of Education Undersecretary Nepomuceno Malaluan received from ADB Principal Country Specialist for Philippines Alain Morel 3,500 android tablets and 21 Wi-Fi local area network (LAN) sets with solar powered batteries. These gadgets were already delivered to schools earlier this year. After the said ceremony, the gadgets were handed over to the students on the same day at their respective schools.
Usec. Malaluan mentioned in his message “We in DepEd greatly appreciate this assistance in providing Filipino students in last mile schools, those currently with limited access to electricity, with safe, secure and consistent access to facilities and resources for distance learning.”
“This will help us in achieving our goals under a learning continuity plan we develop shortly after the pandemic started. The project is even more important because it has a study component on the effectiveness of the technology-assisted learning delivery in remote schools” Usec. Malaluan added.
The support is anchored on ADB’s ongoing assistance to DepEd under the Secondary Education Support Program and is aligned to its 2018-2023 country partnership strategy for the Philippines of Investing in Filipinos.
Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Jeanelyn A. Aleman, CESO VI and ASDS Aurelio A. Santisas with some DepEd SDO officials, supervisors, school heads, teachers, Barangay Local Government Unit officials, parents and students attended the virtual hand-over ceremony at the division office.
DepEd officials from the central office, representative from Embassy of Japan and other stakeholders such as Philippine Business for Social Progress, Edukasyon.ph, and NIRAS joined the face-to-face ceremony.
“We believe that the project has a very good impact to our learners, teachers, and schools. For the learners, the use of tablets will provide them a very meaningful and engaging learning experiences. It will increase their creativity and eagerness to learn. For teachers, it will help them improve their teaching with the integration of technology that will make teaching and learning more interactive and engaging. For the schools, the innovation will help them effectively operationalize its School Learning Continuity Plan as they transition from modular to blended learning” SDS Aleman further said.
Since the project is said to support distance learning in this time of the pandemic and beyond, it must be captured in the School Learning Continuity Plan (SLCP). SDS Aleman urged the two recipient schools’ leadership to ensure proper implementation of the project, thus monitoring and evaluation must be in place.
The Division Monitoring and Evaluation Team shall also develop a tool to be used in monitoring the project. Regular reporting must also be done in an appropriate gathering. This is over and above the study component of the project to be conducted along with its implementation. The baseline evaluation was already conducted and the midline and endline evaluation shall also be done as scheduled. (DepEd-RLA_RGL_05012022)