CAGAYAN de Oro City has been recognized as one of the Top 18 finalists for this year's Galing Pook Awards, with its entry "Making Dreams Come True: Providing Accessible, Quality and Relevant Education in Cagayan de Oro."

The city's Galing Pook entry focused on the holistic approach and innovations of the City Government in improving the quality and standards of education in the city.

It can be recalled that in 2013, the access to quality education in the city was deteriorating, with Child Development Centers (CDC) being underprovided due to the majority of Child Development Teachers being untrained and un-accredited. Moreover, they only receive P2,400 monthly honorarium for the last 14 years.

The city's public elementary schools also managed to have at least two to three shifts of classes because of classroom shortage.

Cagayan de Oro also recorded the secondary level gross enrolment ratio (GER) at 84.19, while net enrolment ratio (NER) was at 61.62. Cohort survival rate was 87.70.

Furthermore, not all high school graduates could enter college or university. As such, the City Government employed strategies to transform the education services in Cagayan de Oro.

Among the holistic approach and innovations of the City Government include providing expanded early childhood care, decongesting the city's elementary and high schools, and providing technical-vocational training.

The City Government also supported more students in the tertiary education level and enabled teacher development.

The awarding ceremony of this year's Galing Pook Awards was held last week at the Malacañang Palace. City Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba, who chairs the City Council’s Education Committee; Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Alicia Anghay; City Information Officer Ivy Guantero and other members of the city delegation received the award from President Bongbong Marcos.

Galing Pook Awards is a pioneering program that searches and recognizes innovative practices by local government units (LGUS). More than 190 entries from various LGUs all over the country competed this year.

According to Georgina Hernandez Yang, executive director of the Galing Pook Foundation, this year's set of finalists features a wide range of LGU programs that address the needs of Filipinos.

"With the multiple challenges brought by the pandemic, climate change, and poverty, hopefully these promising programs could serve as models and inspiration for other LGUs nationwide," Yang said. (SunStar Philippines)