Nominations open for LGUs with best education program for constituents

LOCAL government units (LGUs) are invited to join the inaugural search for cities and municipalities that have exerted outstanding efforts to deliver basic education to their constituents.

Recipients of the Synergia Foundation’s Seal of Good Education Governance, to be named in September, will get incentive packages from PLDT and Smart Communications, worth up to P1.5 million each.

In determining the first batch of seal recipients, a board of judges comprised of representatives from Synergeia, PLDT, Smart, and the Department of Education will evaluate how nominated LGUs have reinvented their local school boards and governing councils.

Judges will also check how the LGUs have involved their communities in enabling all children to go to school.

The locality must also have a high cohort survival rate (grade one students must finish at least grade six) and a steadily improving performance in the national achievement test. The Special Education Fund must also be used on activities that promote learning.

Application forms may be downloaded from starting May 8.

Established in 2002, Synergeia is a coalition of individuals and organizations working closely with about 400 LGUs to help improve the delivery of basic education to children.

The foundation intends to award the Seal of Good Education Governance to deserving LGUs every year.

PLDT and Smart will provide incentive packages depending on the chosen LGUs’ circumstances and needs.

Among the possible incentives are the installation and maintenance of Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas, and the provision of InfoCast, a web-based solution that will allow the LGUs to broadcast announcements and receive feedback via text message.

For LGUs in remote areas, there is the option to provide a satellite-based communication solution that provides voice, SMS, and data services.

Another incentive for LGUs in far-flung areas is the Smart School-in-a-Bag, which contains a solar panel to serve schools without electricity, devices, curriculum-based educational content, teacher training, monitoring, and evaluation.

Included in the incentive package are personal development trainings for LGUs.

“We are happy to support Synergeia’s efforts to encourage more LGUs to efficiently and effectively deliver basic education to Filipino children. As the proverb goes, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ We hope that by working hand-in-hand with foundations and LGUs, we can accelerate the enhancement of learning among Filipino youth like never before,” said PLDT and Smart chief revenue officer Eric Alberto.
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