Education 360 Degrees Investment program is a holistic and systemic approach to uplifting the quality of local basic education. The city government adapts a “cover- all-fronts” strategy and invests in every vital aspect of basic education: school supplies, curriculum, nutrition, teacher competency, parental involvement, and infrastructure. It aims to put an end to poverty through the holistic and systemic education plan. It is the city’s dream to have globally competitive citizenry.
Background and Problem
To address the concern of the decline in the performance of Valenzuelano students in the National Achievement Test, the Education 360 Degrees Investment Program was instituted. The child was put in the center of the program to further understand their needs. Participatory governance is empowering. Broad ownership of programs elicits enthusiastic involvement, shared accountability and gives opportunities to stakeholders to contribute their best.
Solution and Impact
The Education 360 Degrees Investment program was launched in January 2014 with seven components namely: Curriculum Build-up, Nanay-Teacher (Mother-Teacher) Parenting Camp, Teaching Camp, Education Supplies, Massive Infrastructure Spending, K to 6 In-School Feeding Program, and Performance Incentive System. In the vision of the city government to give its constituents a continuous and ever developing education program, in 2016, it added two more components: Project Tokbuk (Knock for a bright future) and Little League. In 2017, the Street Soccer, another sport component was integrated in the program. Each component of the program is geared towards the development and improvement of each and every Valenzuelano student.
The first component of the program ensures that students are provided with the best learning environment. Massive infrastructure spending was put in place to be able to achieve this. The city believes that placing students in a learning-conducive facility will help them develop their knowledge and skills more. The second component aims to engage parents more in the learning and development of their children through capacity building on the Nanay-Teacher (Mother-Teacher) Parenting Camp. Through reflection and peer-learning,the parents are closely involved in their children’s school activities.The 2-day Parenting Camp engages the parents in planning the collaboration with teachers in raising students who are academically excellent and with good character. The participants took it upon themselves to organize parenting workshops in their own schools. The third component is designed to fit the needs of the children in terms of curriculum development. An assessment of the students’ competencies provided the basis of the capacity building program of teachers and students, as well as, the learning materials that they need. The fourth component is intended to address the inability of children to read and understand what they are reading well. Through the Philippine individual Reading Inventory Test (Phil-IRI), the city found out that there are about 78% elementary students who are tested to be non- and frustrated readers. Teachers went through a one-week training for the remedial reading instruction.
The Summer reading camp, which is the fifth component, gathers non- and frustrated readers students and engage them in extensive reading lessons with the help of trained teachers and student aides who are volunteers from the city’s local university, the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV). The sixth component, the K to 6 (kindergarten to grade 6) in-school feeding program, aims to address the problem of underweight students in the city. Parent-volunteers prepare meal boxes for over 16,000 students. Every day, some 800 parent volunteers prepare the ingredients, cook the food following a standard menu, pack the food into lunch boxes, deliver them in schools, supervise the feeding of the children, wash the lunch boxes, and tidy up the kitchen. The seventh component seeks to give proper incentive to the best performing school and Parents-Teachers Association. The reward consists of school supplies and learning materials. The eight component targets the Out of School Youths (OSYs) in the city. It aims to increase OSYs participation in the Alternative Learning System in the city by going to one house after another and encourage OSYs to attend the community-based school program.
The last and the ninth component is called the Little League. It is geared towards widening a child’s knowledge of the sports baseball. It aims to teach children discipline, teamwork and dedication, it’s also an avenue to help them achieve healthy bodies and minds. The 360 Degrees Investment Program has provided platforms for participatory governance to flourish. Residents are recognized as equal partners in policy formulation, planning, and implementation.
The city takes pride in this program which benefits 86,551 students from 119 public daycare centers, 60 elementary schools and 19 secondary schools. 600 teachers and teaching aides underwent the teaching camp. 6,409 wasted and severely wasted students also went through the country’s biggest in-school feeding program. Throughout the course of the implementation of the program, it has delivered positive results that are manifested by the following: In 2016, 90% of the children under the in-school feeding program are no longer considered severely wasted. While 5,536 out of 6,375 frustration level and non-reader students became instructional and independent readers by the end of the summer reading camp. On the other hand, a total of 600 teachers and teaching aides participated in the reading camp training in 2016. More than the statistics, Education 360 Degrees investment program has revitalized the bond between parents and their children though the Nanay-Teacher program.
It has brought back the communication-line of the parents with their children, they have become more engaged in their children’s education than ever. In the Philippines, it is a common context that it is a shame when a child is from a public school. The city government of Valenzuela twisted this notion. With all the developments in the public school system in Valenzuela City through the Education 360 Degrees Investment Program, being a public school student can never be a symbol of shame but a crowning glory of equal chances in life between the privileged and the marginalized. Parents are now viewed as an integral part of their children’s education and not just mere financial aides. This mentality has helped students be more active and parents more aware of what their children are going through in school. The outpour of support and the willingness of the local government to deliver an encompassing program to its constituents led to its success. It was recognized by the 2015 GalingPook Award for Innovations and Excellence in Local Governance, and was one of the 30 Deserving Cities for the 2016 Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation.