PHILIPPINES: Technical training centers supported
Don Bosco technical and vocational training centers assist more than 500 trainees and 48 instructors.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (March 31, 2022) Don Bosco technical and vocational training centers in southern Philippines received support for online teaching and learning for more than 500 trainees thanks in part to funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The project received matching funding from Don Bosco Mondo in Germany through the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The “Interventions to Support Technical-Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the New Normal” project, which launched in August 2020, involved 48 instructors from eight Don Bosco technical and vocational training centers located in Cebu, Negros, Iloilo, Eastern Samar in the Visayas Islands and Davao in the Mindanao Islands.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused upheaval in the educational system and left students and teachers scrambling to figure out how to continue their educational objectives. Educational institutions began using online instruction and blended learning environments with a mix of face-to-face instruction, when possible.
To do this effectively, Don Bosco technical and vocational centers needed support to be able to provide online education. Funding for this project provided for the setup of recording rooms in eight centers, digital production materials, and a trainee’s package including a flash drive, printed modules, two washable face masks and one face shield.
Further, the project provided funding for a rent-to-own tablet for trainees who didn’t have their own device, as well as a food and accommodation subsidy to trainees who were boarders during face-to-face classes. Instructors were provided rent-to-own laptops, and the centers provided a monthly internet incentive so the instructors could facilitate online teaching, activities, and follow-ups.
“Teachers are the backbone of the Salesian educational system and had to quickly modify how they provide education during the pandemic—not an easy feat for many Salesian teachers,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “Salesian teachers face many challenges educating poor youth, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges. This project enabled Salesian teachers to meet these challenges head-on, providing youth education and hope for a brighter future.”
Since 1950, Salesian Missions has been providing crucial help in the Philippines—working with at-risk youth, impoverished families and disaster victims. Humanitarian agencies warn of the dangers faced by the most disadvantaged children in the Philippines. There are at least 1.2 million children between the ages of 5 and 15 who are out of school and are being left behind. In addition, children born into the poorest 20 percent of the population are almost three times more likely to die during their first five years as those from the richest 20 percent.
Poverty rose sharply in the Philippines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the World Bank, close to 4 million people became poor in the first half of 2021 due to pandemic-induced lockdown measures that dried up jobs and reduced domestic demand. Poverty incidence in the Philippines rose to 23.7 percent from 21.1 percent, indicating 3.9 million more people are living in poverty now than in 2018 when the statistics were last verified.
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