US to focus aid on child education
THE US government has announced it would focus funding assistance on areas of early child reading using the mother tongue under the new K-12 basic education program and on fostering a stronger role for men in family planning and maternal care concerns.
Dr. Susan Brems, Philippines mission director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said current funding assistance to the Philippines would be retained but programs would be turned more toward women and children.
She said that for 2016, USAID would prioritize early child education, particularly in the implementation of the K-12 curriculum amendment.
Brems said the US government believed that early grade reading programs that involved the mother tongue were crucial to effective child learning.
“We are very much focused on reading as a fundamental building block for a successful education and a successful life. We have decided as a strategy worldwide that USAID would prioritize early grade reading,” Brems said at a Google Hangout event hosted by the US Embassy in Manila on March 31.
USAID has also seen the need for men to play a greater role in the implementation of the agency’s family planning assistance programs in the country.
Gender work is important to the
USAID fund assistance programs, but more men should be involved in improving maternal health.
Brems said women empowerment was important but “gender is about balance of power in terms of responsibilities at home, in the field for agriculture, family, child care and family planning.”
“We believe in healthy birth spacing and timing. But men should be involved so they can understand family planning needs,” she said.
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