MANILA –The Philippines and Australia further strengthen their partnership in providing quality basic education and safer learning environment to Filipino schoolchildren.
This was showcased Wednesday as Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddel led the ceremonial turnover of two four-classrooms buildings in San Isidro Elementary School in Magalang, Pampanga province.
In a statement, Luistro expressed his gratitude for the Australian government’s continuing support to improve the educational system of the country.
“The Australian government has been a partner of education for almost two decades. They actually listen to our needs; they sit down with us to know what are the key things which DepEd needs,” the secretary said.
The education chief further stated that DepEd is intent on providing a safe and resilient learning environment for teachers and students.
“Every Filipino can contribute in helping create clean and resilient learning environment for our learners,” according to Luistro.
For his part, Ambassador Tweddel believes that access to quality education is the key to solving poverty and bringing economic prosperity in the country.
“Getting children to school and making sure they learn — and making sure that there are systems to support these goals — are the main pillars of Australia’s education program in the Philippines,” according to the ambassador.
The Australian government allotted P 984 million (AUD 24.6 million) for the construction of 660 classrooms in Region 3 (Central Luzon) and Region 4-A (CALABARZON) under the DepEd’s School Building Program for Basic Education (SB4BE) benefiting more than 29,000 students.
The classrooms that were built with Australian support include accessibility for children with disabilities to encourage their participation in schools.
Australia also supports improvements in standards and business processes in classroom construction including procurement and financial management.