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UNICEF supports the Philippine Government’s thrust of expanding access to quality Early Childhood Care

and Development (ECCD) which includes promoting universal Kindergarten. This is meant to contribute
towards the achievement of the education MDGs – Universal Primary Education and Gender Equality in
Basic Education.
The ECCD program addresses the long-standing concern with creating an equitable platform for learning
and providing the best start for all children, by ensuring that every Filipino child has access to some form
of ECCD and school readiness programs before
UNICEF, in collaboration with government and non-government partners, supports ECCD initiatives and
participates in promoting parental awareness and appreciation of the value of ECCD. UNICEF also
promotes a holistic approach to early learning, bringing in many crucial child development processes such
as children’s active participation through interactive learning and play, health, hygiene, sanitation, and
overall well-being as well as teachers’ motivation, and community support for children’s safe and secure
environment.
Despite recent government efforts to improve the policy environment, expand access and enhance quality,
implementation gaps persist and significant challenges remain. National statistics indicate that only 78 out
of 100 Grade 1 entrants have kindergarten experience. Among the 6 year olds, which is the official entry
age to Grade 1, 14.5 per cent are not in school and 25 per cent are still in preschool.
Research shows that children who don’t start school at the right age are more likely to have learning
difficulties, to repeat or drop out. Most dropouts occur in Grades 1 and 2 which could indicate lack of
school readiness that is best ensured by attending quality ECCD.

The factors that affect participation in early education include poverty; gender, ethnicity, low level of
awareness of the value of early childhood education; disabilities; long distance from school; threats of
dislocation among informal settlers, and exposure to conflict and natural disasters; and urban
challenges. UNICEF Philippines/2008/Francia
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.
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.
The Philippine EFA 2015 Review report said it is addressing "emerging and persistent" issues that threaten the
achievement of universal education such as poverty, climate change, devastating disasters, armed conflict and threats to
the safety and security of schoolchildren.
It unveiled the Philippine EFA 2015 Acceleration Plan that will pursue strategies to attain education of all in the coming
years.
The report also said the government has identified long‐term targets to guide education development beyond 2015.
Alternative learning system will be enhanced, the standards of Early Childhood Care and Development programs raised,
the quality of the K-12 basic education program improved, teaching and learning methods enhanced, ICT adopted for
education, and education organizations and institutions strengthened, according to the report. The Philippine EFA
2015 Review report said it is addressing "emerging and persistent" issues that threaten the achievement of universal
education such as poverty, climate change, devastating disasters, armed conflict and threats to the safety and security of
schoolchildren.
It unveiled the Philippine EFA 2015 Acceleration Plan that will pursue strategies to attain education of all in the coming
years.
The report also said the government has identified long‐term targets to guide education development beyond 2015.
Alternative learning system will be enhanced, the standards of Early Childhood Care and Development programs raised,
the quality of the K-12 basic education program improved, teaching and learning methods enhanced, ICT adopted for
education, and education organizations and institutions strengthened, according to the report. By: Yvonne T. Chua, Vera
Files
April 11, 2015 3:25 AMInterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5
The 15-year global Education for All (EFA) movement is drawing to a close this year, and the verdict is out.
Only a third of the 164 governments that pledged to achieve universal primary education and five other goals by 2015
have done so, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in the
report Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges released this week.
By its own admission, the Philippines isn't among those that have made the mark.
In a report it submitted to UNESCO in time for the World Education Forum scheduled in Incheon, South Korea next
month, the Philippine government acknowledged that the strides it has made in achieving in several EFA goals have
"been too slow to make it to target by 2015."
The Philippine Education for All (EFA) 2015 Review report identified gaps in:
 Grade 1 entrants with some form of early childhood care and development experience: 18 percentage points
 Kindergarten net enrolment rate: 23 points
 Elementary net enrolment rate: 5 points
 High school net enrolment rate: 35 points
 Completion rate to finish basic education: 25 points
 Eradication of basic illiteracy: 4 points
 Eradication of functional illiteracy: 14 points