Philippines: Enhancing Access to Quality Early Childhood Education Services for Children in Poor Communities (formerly Early Childhood Development Project)

Sovereign Project | 45127-001

Summary

In the Philippines, poor children's education opportunities and outcomes are undercut by low access to basic education and weak instruction and support for emergent literacy. There is strong evidence in the Philippines and globally that poor early exposure to reading leads to a cycle whereby many poorer children fall increasingly behind in school, contributing to low achievement and dropout. Despite decades of programming and public service delivery options for ECCD in the Philippines (e.g., day care and maternal and child health services at barangay level), key challenges remain in (i) access to quality learning environments for young children, particularly at the preschool level; (ii) quality in teaching and learning at the preschool level as well as foundational literacy and numeracy skills in early grades of elementary; and (iii) engaging parents and communities, and mobilizing broader civil society and private sector stakeholders.

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Project Name Enhancing Access to Quality Early Childhood Education Services for Children in Poor Communities (formerly Early Childhood Development Project)
Project Number 45127-001
Country Philippines
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant 9161-PHI: Enhancing Access to Quality Early Childhood Education Services for Children in Poor Communities
Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction US$ 1.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Education - Pre-primary and primary
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description

In the Philippines, poor children's education opportunities and outcomes are undercut by low access to basic education and weak instruction and support for emergent literacy. There is strong evidence in the Philippines and globally that poor early exposure to reading leads to a cycle whereby many poorer children fall increasingly behind in school, contributing to low achievement and dropout. Despite decades of programming and public service delivery options for ECCD in the Philippines (e.g., day care and maternal and child health services at barangay level), key challenges remain in (i) access to quality learning environments for young children, particularly at the preschool level; (ii) quality in teaching and learning at the preschool level as well as foundational literacy and numeracy skills in early grades of elementary; and (iii) engaging parents and communities, and mobilizing broader civil society and private sector stakeholders. These problems are interlinked (e.g., low enrolment in preschool reflects lack of access to nearby facilities, low perceived quality of services, and parents' low recognition of the importance of foundational years of preschool and schooling.

The project aims to improve access to quality early childhood education services, to create an enhanced foundation for schooling and learning, especially among children in poor communities in the Philippines. The project supports a sustainable multi-stakeholder partnership to implement the Government's program to universalize pre-school for 5 year old children in order to prepare them better for primary education, there by to reduce dropout rate and improve their learning outcomes. Consistent with Government policies and programs, the Project will support: (i) expanded access to preschool education by providing the necessary school infrastructure and facilities; (ii) enhanced capacity and quality of teachers through training and workshops; (iii) engaging communities and building sustainable partnerships with civil society, corporate sector and local NGOs; and (iv) improved monitoring and evaluation. The Project will not only enable selected schools to expand support for children in the crucial transition years of primary school through an enriched early literacy program, but it will also strengthen the capacity of school heads and teachers to mobilize parenting support and education that will translate to more effective home-school partnerships from which children ultimately benefit.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Government of the Philippines has embarked on a comprehensive reform of its education sector to extend the basic education cycle from 10 to 12 years. Department of Education (DepEd) committed to expanding access to kindergarten programs, which will now be formally recognized as the first year of the basic education system with the move towards a new "K to 12" system. The new "K to 12" system aims to universalize preschool and extend basic education through grade 12, to align with 12-year systems to match the global standards. Transformation of the Philippines basic education system through the new K to 12 including universal access to preschool will be is a complex and massive undertaking for the government requiring significant investment. Due to a tight fiscal position, the Philippines has suffered from consistent under provision of basic infrastructure and essential public services, such as education, health and social protection. Low and insufficient public spending on education has resulted in insufficient and unequal access to opportunities as well as skills deficiencies.

The Philippines is lagging on all four education MDG indicators and appears unlikely to reach any of its MDG targets for education by 2015. Net enrolment rates in primary education have been stagnant in recent years (84.6% in 1990 and 85.1%in 2008). Primary completion rate has shown minimal improvement from 64.2% in 1990 to 73.3% in 2008 with 1 in 4 children not able to complete the six years of compulsory elementary education. Educational outcomes of poor children in the Philippines are undercut partly by limited availability of pre-school which hampers childrens readiness for schooling. Global evidences have shown that good quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children along with nutritional supplements have demonstrated long-lasting and highly cost-effective results on school retention rates, intellectual ability and performance and long term earnings and welfare.

The Project will directly contribute to progress towards achievement of the MDG targets on education, and will also support the development goals of the Philippine Education for All 2015 Plan, which emphasizes universal primary education. The project goals are consistent with the ADB's Strategy 2020, which identifies education as one of the five core areas of operation and calls for developing innovative partnerships with the private sector. The Country Assistance Program Evaluation (2008) for the Philippines concluded that ADB's engagement in education should be a priority, and ADB's draft Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2011-2016 identifies education as a core sector and also foresees expanded support for social protection particularly for children. The draft CPS supports the Government's strategy to achieve inclusive growth by providing equal access to development opportunities by investing in human capital as prioritized in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

Impact Enhanced access to quality early childhood education services for improved learning outcomes among children in targeted poor communities
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome A sustainable multi-stakeholder partnership model established for expansion of pre-school and early primary education
Progress Toward Outcome --
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

(i) Expanded access to safe and child-friendly pre-school learning environments

(ii) Improved capacity in teaching and school leadership

(iii) Sustainable partnerships with communities and civil society in support of pre-school and early primary education established

(iv) Project monitoring and impact evaluation conducted

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Of the 60 buildings, the 45 financed by ADB are complete, furnished, equipped with materials, books, and supplies. The 15 other preschool buildings financed with private sector support are also complete.

6,000 kindergarten students have access to the completed facilities.

9,000 Grade 1-3 (45 x 200) have access to the library.

--

3 modules of teacher training have been implemented as of September 2014, with a 4th module planned for Q1 2015.

DepEd's kindergarten curriculum is improved.

Proposed livelihood programs include poultry raising in Negros and school gardens in Bicol for implementation in 2015.

Institutional framework and business plan for strengthening multistakeholder partherships shall be included in Module 4 training.

Literacy committees are part of the Parent Teacher Association.

School feeding was launched in August 2014 using the MINGO, a nutritious supplement procured from NVC Social Enterprise. The feeding program in 100% of beneficiary schools is ongoing with favorable results evident in continued weight gain.

Baseline survey completed

PIU fully staffed and operational.

School monitoring and observation visits continue.

Annual audits are being conducted.

Impact evaluation ongoing

Policy briefs will be prepared based on evidence from the impact evaluation.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The concept of the proposed project was discussed with government counterparts (DepEd, DOH and DSWD), and development partners (UNICEF, JICA). Consultations with local NGOs and communities took place during the fact-finding mission.
During Project Implementation
Responsible ADB Officer Karin Schelzig
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Department of EducationSecond Floor, Rizal Building
Department of Education, DepED Complex,
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City
Timetable
Concept Clearance 30 Mar 2012
Fact Finding 02 Jul 2011 to 04 Jul 2011
MRM 30 Mar 2012
Approval 20 Feb 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2015

Grant 9161-PHI

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
20 Feb 2012 23 Mar 2012 23 Mar 2012 23 Mar 2015 23 Sep 2015 -
Financing Plan Grant Utilization
Total (Amount in US$ million) Date ADB Others Net Percentage
Project Cost 3.54 Cumulative Contract Awards
ADB 0.00 20 Feb 2012 0.00 1.29 86%
Counterpart 2.04 Cumulative Disbursements
Cofinancing 1.50 20 Feb 2012 0.00 1.25 84%

Safeguard Documents

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Evaluation Documents

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  • 23 Mar 2012 | Article

    Education and Building Preschools in the Philippines

    A $1.5 million grant will see the construction of 60 preschools across the Philippines, giving hope to thousands of poor and malnourished children. If a child misses their first steps towards education, they face a lifetime of struggling to learn, poor results and repeating grades. In a worst-case scenario, they drop out altogether.