“I have a bag! I have a bag!” Second-grader Calasara Hodlero declared loudly as she came home from school. Calasara’s grandmother, Nimfa Hodlero recalls how excited her 7-year old granddaughter was the day she received the new bag from USAID that comes with an English workbook and various school supplies. Calasara is one of about 35,000 pupils in the Visayas Region who received learning materials as part of the post-disaster aid component of USAID’s Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) Program implemented by Synergeia Foundation.
Calasara’s school, Bayas Elementary School, and over 400 other schools received community incentive grants in the form of various electronic equipment while almost 4,000 teachers each received teaching materials. The aid, under the theme Hugpong sa Pagbangon (We Will Rise Together), is USAID’s response action to help children whose education was severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in early November 2013.
Continue reading “USAID’s Post-Disaster Assistance Inspires Island Community to Support Education”
The expressions on the children’s faces said it all the moment the breeze from the electric fan swept their faces. Thanks to the solar panel donated by USAID through Synergeia Foundation, the school can finally use electric fans and children no longer have to suffer from extreme heat inside the classroom. “They can now focus on their studies instead of spending their time fanning themselves,” says teacher-in-charge Luna Aresto.
The notion of a fan other than the object you wave with your hand to produce a current of air is a rarity in Nasidman Island in the municipality of Ajuy, Iloilo. In fact, the fan they are using to test the solar panel is merely borrowed from a nearby resident who owns one that can be powered by either electricity or solar energy. The pupils of Nasidman Primary School, just like the rest of the residents of the small fishing village, are not allowed to use electric fans if it would suck power from the community solar power source.
USAID provided the solar panel as part of the community incentive grant (CIG) package extended to partner municipalities under Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) Program. The post-disaster assistance is USAID’s response action to aid children whose education was severely affected by the super typhoon in early November 2013 that left over 7,000 fatalities and caused widespread damage particularly in the Visayas.
Apart from the solar panel, the pupils of Nasidman PS are also benefitting from the new laptop that the school received that is included in the school’s chosen CIG package. The laptop not only helps Teacher Luna to write lesson plans and reports faster but also enable her to expose the pupils in the remote island to new technology.ed by the super typhoon in early November 2013 that left over 7,000 fatalities and caused widespread damage particularly in the Visayas.
In addition to the CIG that come in the form of various electronic equipment given to over 400 schools in 19 municipalities in Iloilo, Capiz and Bohol provinces, USAID also provided teaching and learning materials to over 3,800 teachers and almost 35,000 students.
“They can now focus on their studies instead of spending their time fanning themselves,” says Teacher-in-Charge Luna Aresto.
EdGE is a five year project that seeks to improve education governance with the end goal of improving learning outcomes, particularly early grade reading, for at least 1 million children.
July 2015 – 8-year old Reinan and 6-year old Reinald Bernil emerge from their home through a rickety bamboo-slatted gate at noon. They proceed to walk uphill to school about a mile away. The brothers, Grades 2 and 3, each wear a blue backpack containing an English workbook and school supplies, all provided by USAID through Synergeia Foundation under the post-disaster assistance package extended to victims of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that hit the Visayas region late 2013.
Reinan and Reinald are sons of corn farmers from a small village in the mountains about 8 kilometers away from the nearest town within the municipality of Lemery, Iloilo. Their school, Pacuan Primary School, is even farther away, situated at the very edge of the border between Iloilo and Capiz provinces. The rough dirt road uphill is only passable by motorcycle part of the way and only if the weather does not render it muddy from the rain.
Brothers Reinan and Reinald walk a mile uphill to school with their new bags containing school supplies, all donated by USAID.
Alternating between a walk and a run, the brothers soon reach a rice paddy and tread carefully across the narrow dirt path and beyond where their school lies. Pacuan PS only has two classrooms. A teacher alternates between two grades inside the same room separated only by a low wooden divider. Since the school is located in an off-grid land without electricity, the solar panel from USAID is of tremendous help. “When the classroom gets too hot, we hold our classes outside under the trees,” says Teacher May Jean Domingo. The young teacher who is in charge of Pacuan PS says the power source has made it possible to use electric fans that will keep the pupils from getting distracted by the heat while they study. She adds that the workbook along with the school implements have made the children very happy. She expresses her gratitude that help has reached them despite the school’s distance and risky terrain.
“When the classroom gets too hot, we hold our class outside under the trees,” says Teacher May Jean Domingo
Residents shared that a bomb planted by communist rebels exploded a day earlier, destroying a cellular site nearby. Children beset by poverty in the remote areas of Lemery can get easily enticed by extreme ideology. With the gift of a more conducive learning environment and new school materials they can call their own, the children of Pacuan PS are instead encouraged to keep coming to school and become productive members of society.
The post-disaster assistance, which provided teaching and learning materials to over 3,800 teachers and almost 35,000 students, plus community incentive grants in the form of electronic equipment to over 400 schools in 19 municipalities in the Visayas, is a component of USAID’s Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) Project.