MANILA – The United States government, through its aid agency, is providing PHP126 million (USD2.5 million) to help the Philippines in its learning continuity plan amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Department of Education (DepEd) to provide teachers with instructional strategies and learning materials designed for use in both school and home learning environments.

USAID will also assist DepEd in developing rapid, easy-to-use assessment tools for teachers to gauge and support students’ literacy skills once they can return to school.

“The US government, through USAID, remains committed to ensuring young students have the opportunity to continue to learn despite the challenges that COVID-19 has created,” USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy said.

The aid agency will partner with the private sector and the media to disseminate advice through radio broadcasts as well as assist parents by designing learning activities that can be done at home.

The US embassy in Manila said more than 27.7 million Filipino children and youth are at risk of significant learning loss due to extended school closures and disruptions during the pandemic.

“Students in early grades are particularly vulnerable to learning loss because they need significant support from their parents, teachers, and caregivers. This is also a critical stage in young children’s education as they develop literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills, which are foundations for lifelong learning,” it said.

The embassy said since the outbreak began, USAID and DepEd have been cooperating to ensure teachers could continue teaching and that children still learn while schools are closed. (PNA)