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Foreign Minister launches education program in the Philippines

24 February, 2014

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Politicians from Australia and Vietnam sit at a table for discussion 

Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop (second from right), and Bro. Armin Luistro FSC, Philippines’ Education Secretary, confirm arrangements for the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program. Also present are H.E. Bill Tweddell, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines (right), and Benhur Abalos, Mayor of Mandaluyong.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced Australia would continue its education partnership with the Philippines by contributing $150 million over six years to the Basic Education Sector Transformation (BEST) Program. 

Joined by Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Ms Bishop made the announcement at the Neptali Gonzales High School in Metropolitan Manila and said the package of support would provide eight million boys and girls in nearly 19,000 schools in the Philippines with a better education.

The Government of the Philippines has embarked on an ambitious plan to overhaul the education system with its K to 12 education reform agenda. The K to 12 reform agenda adds three years of mandatory schooling to bring the Philippines education system in line with ASEAN and international standards. 

Evidence shows that the greater the number of years of schooling, the higher the household income, especially among women.

Through BEST, Australia will partner with the Department of Education to provide 1,000 scholarships to train new teachers, as well as re-training 240,000 existing teachers in the new curriculum.

BEST will build over 1,000 classrooms, half of which are in Super Typhoon Haiyan affected areas, 40 science and computer laboratories, and two Indigenous People’s Learning Centres.

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Last reviewed: 24 February, 2014