The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 14 by deepening their commitment to produce gender-responsive and socially inclusive DepEd TV episodes.
In line with the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child theme, “Digital generation. Our generation,” which calls for increased access to digital technology and improved digital learning and literacy, USAID is partnering with DepEd to train more than 500 DepEd TV script writers and teacher-broadcasters in creating gender-fair and inclusive educational TV episodes across all grade levels and subject areas.
USAID will also support the addition of Filipino Sign Language insets and subtitles to 200 episodes, conversion of another 200 episodes to radio-based instruction, translation of 50 episodes to mother tongue languages, and production of 16 new DepEd TV episodes in English and Filipino subjects. These efforts will help more than 25 million Filipino learners.
USAID Philippines’ Office of Education Director Dr. Thomas LeBlanc emphasized the importance of digital inclusion as a critical element to children’s well-being and to ensure the success of learners, especially girls in the most difficult and vulnerable conditions—to learn, to earn, and to have their voices heard. “The partnership between USAID and DepEd is one step to promoting digital inclusion, especially among young children—girls and boys, of all abilities—wherever they are in the Philippines,” he said.
“With support from USAID, we are using technology to ensure inclusive education for all especially during this pandemic,” DepEd Undersecretary Alain Del Pascua emphasized. “All children, regardless of their gender, race, beliefs, and social status must be assured of quality education, may it be in traditional classrooms or through a digital approach of learning. As Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones always says, ‘Walang batang maiiwan’ (No child will be left behind).”
This assistance is part of USAID’s All Children Reading Philippines, a four-year, Php253.67 million ($5 million) project that supports DepEd in improving reading outcomes for early grade learners.
For the past 60 years, USAID has worked with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than $5.1 billion (Php258.75 billion) to support the Philippines since 1961.