World Bank approves $110-million project to improve quality of Mindanao education

THE World Bank has approved a $110-million project to improve learning outcomes by enhancing teachers’ skills in Mindanao.

The Teacher Effectiveness and Competencies Enhancement Project is expected to benefit almost two million elementary school students and over 60,000 teachers and school officials in Mindanao.

The project will be implemented in Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), Region XII (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

“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,” the World Bank said.

“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,” the World Bank said.

The project will also provide digital materials and physical resources, such as tablets, to the beneficiaries.

“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,” it added.

The project also aims to enhance literacy, numeracy, and socioemotional skills for K-6 students. It will also prioritize peacebuilding, gender-sensitive instruction, climate and disaster resilience, and inclusive education.

 “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,” World Bank Country Director for the Philippines Ndiamé Diop said in a statement.

“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,” World Bank Senior Economist Sachiko Kataoka added. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson