The BEST Program is a partnership between the Governments of the Philippines and Australian which aims to contribute to improving the preparedness of school graduates in the Philippines to participate productively in the workforce, in technical vocational training and to undertake further study.
The BEST Program stated in July 2013, following the approval of the Philippines Investment Coordination Committee and subsequent confirmation of the National Economic Development Authority.
BEST is designed as a national program, with intensive support provided across six target area regions:
National Capital Region
Region 5 – Bicol
Region 6 - Western Visayas
Region 7 – Central Visayas
Region 8 - Eastern Visayas
Region 10 – Northern Mindanao
BEST Program Objectives: Contribute to
1. Improved quality of education outcomes.
2. More equitable access of all people at all levels of education.
3. Improved service delivery through better governance
Program Outcomes expected at the end of year 6 (2018-19):
1. More children are able to demonstrate improved mastery of basic education curriculum competencies (especially in English, Mathematics and Science) and difference in learning outcomes for boys and girls are reduced in target areas.
2. More boys & girls participate in- and complete education in target areas.
3. DepEd is better able to deliver basic education services that is more gender responsive and inclusive and with greater decentralisation of management and accountability to the field offices and schools.
The program structure comprises two components with corresponding sub-components and a menu of activities that build on from previous Department of Education programs, most of which were implemented with Australian Government support.
Component 1: Improving Teaching and Learning addresses barriers to learning achievement and student access. Support is provided for the development and/or improvement of:
· curriculum and assessment methods,
· teaching and learning materials,
· pre-service teacher training curriculum,
· training, mentoring, coaching and licensing for teachers, academic staff and school heads,
· construction of education facilities,
· context specific learning models for education.,
Component 2: Strengthening Systems addresses system issues facing DepEd in delivering education in a decentralised environment. Support focuses on improving the organisation’s structures, business processes, information systems and capacity for evidence-based policy and planning and resource utilisation at all levels (school, district, division, region and central). Key activities include:
· the design and implementation of a Unified Information System (UIS),
· capacity building for improved planning and policy (including approaches to gender mainstreaming and inclusive education),
· improving the implementation of School Based Management (SBM) including through performance grants and incentives, and an emphasis on working more closely with Local Government Units (LGUs).
Change management, action research and communications for development strategies have been built into the above two components to maximise the effectiveness of proposed interventions.
As mandated for all Australian Government supported activities, the following policies are implemented across the components:
· Gender and Development
· Child Protection
· Disability Inclusive Development