US donates distance learning set to CDO’s e-Skwela center

Partners from Cagayan de Oro City led by Mayor Oscar Moreno (center), receive education equipment from USAID

THE United States, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), handed over P2.2 million ($44,000) worth of distance learning equipment to support Cagayan de Oro City’s Alternative Learning System (ALS) e-Skwela Center.

Included in the equipment donation last month were 50 desktop computers, webcams, headphones, wireless routers and other tools for distance learning in ALS.

USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Sean Callahan virtually turned over the equipment to the Department of Education’s (DepEd) ALS Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat, Mayor Oscar Moreno of Cagayan de Oro City, and Rep. Rolando Uy.

 The Cagayan de Oro e-Skwela Center is one of five being supported by USAID. Other centers are in the cities of Legazpi, General Santos, Angeles, and Davao City. Total package of support for the centers amounts to P12 million ($240,000).

Through its Opportunity 2.0 program, USAID has been supporting DepEd ALS’ continuity and pandemic-response plan, which helps restore access to education for vulnerable out-of-school youth.

 “The US government, through USAID, has supported DepEd in reinvigorating education programs,” said Callahan. “We are working hard so that vulnerable [and] out-of-school youth who have stopped school due to the pandemic are given the opportunity and tools to adapt, grow and have a better tomorrow.”

 Ambat added: “The pandemic worsened the out-of-school youth’s lack of access to education. This magnified their vulnerability, leaving them less able to pursue education and progress toward better economic opportunities for themselves and their families. We are happy that USAID remains one of DepEd’s strongest partners, committed to supporting us in improving the quality of basic education for Filipino youth.”

 Last year USAID supported DepEd in developing self-paced ALS modules and trained ALS teachers to deliver this new content using modern modalities to overcome pandemic-related challenges. To date more than 16,000 out-of-school youth have benefited from these new modules. Over 2,500 ALS teachers and implementers have so far been trained on flexible delivery modalities nationwide.

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