24 LGUs cited for improving delivery of basic education

MANILA — Some 24 cities and municipalities were recognized for their efforts in improving the delivery of basic education to their constituents.

The 24 local government units (LGUs) are: Alimodan, Iloilo; Argao, Cebu; Bacnotan, La Union; Balamban, Cebu; Bongao, Tawi-Tawi; Cabatuan, Iloilo; Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental; Concepcion, Iloilo; Dalaguete, Cebu; Dao, Capiz; Datu Paglas, Maguindanao; Diadi, Nueva Vizcaya; Diffun, Quirino; Ivisan, Capiz; Lambunao, Iloilo; Miagao, Iloilo; Mina, Iloilo; North Upi, Maguindanao; Santol, La Union; Simunul, Tawi-Tawi; Solano, Nueva Vizcaya; Valenzuela, Metro Manila; Villaverde, Nueva Vizcaya and Tuba, Benguet.

The LGUs were the inaugural batch of recipients of the Seal of Good Education Governance from Synergeia Foundation given in an awarding ceremony Friday held during the National Education Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

PLDT and Smart Communications provided the seal recipients technology packages worth PHP 1.5 million that will address the information and communications technology (ICT) requirements of the LGUs to further improve education in their localities.

Among the incentives are the installation and maintenance of Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas, and the provision of InfoCast, a web-based solution that will allow the LGUs to broadcast announcements and receive feedback via text message.

LGUs in remote areas will also receive a satellite-based communication solution that provides voice and SMS messages; Smart School in a Bag which contains a solar panel to serve schools without electricity, mobile devices, curriculum-based educational content, teacher training, monitoring, and evaluation; and trainings for personal development.

“We strongly support Synergeia’s efforts to encourage local governments to efficiently and effectively deliver basic education to Filipino children. Through the technology tools and digital educational content included in the incentive packages, these LGUs can further enhance learning among their young constituents,” PLDT and Smart Chief Revenue Officer Eric Alberto said in a statement.

“The PLDT Group will continue to work hand-in-hand with organizations like Synergeia and local governments to achieve our goal of building a smart nation,” he added.

The awardees were selected through a panel of judges composed of representatives from Synergia and the Department of Education (DepEd).

To receive the seal, LGUs must have broadened the membership and functions of their local school board and most of their schools should have functional school governing councils.

As an indicator of performance, the average National Achievement Test score of elementary school children must be higher than the national average of 66 percent or must have increased by at least two percentage points.  The LGUs must also have reduced the number of poor readers by at least 15 percent.

Moreover, their cohort survival rate — the percentage of first graders who go on to complete sixth grade– must be higher than the national average of 70 percent or must have increased by at least two percentage points.

LGUs should likewise have recorded a decrease in non-readers and frustrated readers by at least 15 percentage points.

“We put together an education governance scorecard to focus on the results of their work. While anecdotes and feel-good stories about education initiatives are helpful, the scorecard enables us to objectively evaluate the performance of LGUs,” according Synergia chief executive officer Milwida Guevarra.

“We are happy to recognize these outstanding LGUs, and hope that the Seal of Good Education Governance would inspire them to keep making children’s education a priority in their governance agenda,” she added.

Established in 2002, Synergeia is a coalition of individuals and organizations working closely with about 400 LGUs to improve the delivery of basic education to Filipino children. The foundation intends to award the Seal of Good Education Governance to deserving LGUs every year.  Aerol John Pateña/PNA-northboundasia.com