The Secondary Education Support Program is seen to benefit 10.6 million students presently enrolled in high school and an additional two million Grade 7 entrants annually from 2019 to 2023.
Michael Varcas
ADB lends $300 M for Philippines secondary education upgrade
Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - May 28, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $300-million loan to the Philippines to support ongoing reforms in the secondary education system aimed at producing employable graduates.

The Secondary Education Support Program is seen to benefit 10.6 million students presently enrolled in high school and an additional two million Grade 7 entrants annually from 2019 to 2023.

ADB said the program is meant to support government efforts in enabling the country’s secondary education system to respond to the requirements of the labor market.

“Sustaining the Philippines’ strong growth momentum will require a workforce equipped with the appropriate set of advanced skills and knowledge to allow them to keep in step with the rapid technological changes in the global economy,” said ADB senior education specialist for Southeast Asia Lynnette Perez.

“Continued investments in high quality education are crucial to attaining the government’s vision of lowering unemployment and poverty rates,” she added.

ADB said that while reforms in the country’s secondary education system have shown progress, enrolment and graduation rates have remained low, especially among students from the poorest households.

In response to this, the government is deploying more teachers with specialized knowledge while enduring the curriculum is aligned with the needs of the labor market.

Under the Secondary Education Support Program, ADB and the Philippine government seek to improve the performance of students in the National Achievement Test and the national certificate assessment for senior high school technical-vocational-livelihood track specialization.

It will also help strengthen the secondary education curriculum and increase teacher proficiency and career development. Nearly 294,000 public secondary education teachers and additional teachers to be hired until 2023 stand to benefit from learning better teaching practices, which will lead to better learning outcomes.

ADB will disburse funds to the government based on the achievement of agreed reform targets within a specific period.

The bank will also continue providing technical assistance to the Department of Education to ensure they achieve the targets.

The program will also support the Department of Education’s public financial management reforms, including the timely release of secondary schools’ budget for maintenance and operation, tools and equipment.

It will also assess the effectiveness of the Education Service Contracting and the Senior High School Voucher programs.

The Secondary Education Support Program builds on an ongoing ADB assistance under the Senior High School Support Program, which  supports the rollout of the government’s senior high school program.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK SECONDARY EDUCATION SYSTEM
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