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THE PHILIPPINES

Kariton Klasrum

CASE STUDY

THE PHILIPPINES
Kariton Klasrum

CASE STUDY

Published in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
7, place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP, France
and
UNESCO Bangkok Office

UNESCO 2015

ISBN: 978-92-9223-516-1 (Print version)


ISBN: 978-92-9223-505-5 (Electronic version)

This publication is available in Open Access under the Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO (CC-BY-SA
3.0 IGO) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/igo/). By using the content of this
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(http://www.unesco.org/open-access/terms-use-ccbysa-en).
The designations employed and the presentation of material throughout this publication do not
imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNESCO concerning the legal status
of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers
or boundaries.
The ideas and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors; they are not necessarily
those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.

Coordinator: Malisa Santigul


Editor: Ellie Meleisea
Graphic designer: Filippo Monti

TH/APL/018/14/150

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acronyms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .viii
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
1.2 Study scope and method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

2. Overall EFA situation in Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5


Goal 1: Universal coverage of out-of-school youth and adults in providing learning needs . . . 5
Goal 2: Universal school participation and elimination of school leavers and repeaters in the
first three grades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Goal 3: Universal completion of the full basic education cycle with satisfactory annual
achievement levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Goal 4: Total community commitment to attaining basic educational competence for all . . 10
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

3. Out-of-school and street children in the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


3.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.2 Why there are street children in the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
3.3 Key issues and risks faced by street children in the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4 Initiatives related to street children in
the Philippines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

4. The Klasrum programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17


4.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
4.2 Rationale of the programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
4.3 Programme content, management and implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
4.4 Learner profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4.5 Profile of volunteers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4.6 Profile of partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
4.7 Impact of the Kariton Klasrum programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.8 Factors promoting and hindering the programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

5. Replication of the Kariton Klasrum programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35


5.1 The Department of Education and the K4 programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
5.2 The Department of Social Welfare and Development and the K4 programme . . . . . . . 36
5.3 Local adaptations of the Kariton Klasrum programme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
5.4 Kariton Klasrum internationally . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

6. The case of a former Kariton learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46


Casters Kariton Klasrum experience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
At formal school . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

7. Conclusions and recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49


Kariton learner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

List of Figures
Figure 1: The anatomy of the Kariton Klasrum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Figure 2: Comparative population growth rate, by decade (19902010) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Figure 3: Poverty incidence in the population in Cavite Province (20062009) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Figure 4: Approximate organizational structure (2040 volunteers) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

List of Tables
Table 1: Basic education performance indicators in Cavite City (school years 201011 and 201112) . . 20
Table 2: Number of kariton learners, by age group and sex (201314) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Table 3: Number of DTC volunteers by position/work (as of January 2014) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Table 3: Examples of partners and contributions to the Kariton Klasrum programme . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

vi

Acronyms
4Ps

Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

A&E

Accreditation and Equivalency

ADM

Alternative Delivery Mode

ALS

Alternative Learning System

BALS

Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems

CCT

Conditional Cash Transfer

DepEd

Department of Education

DOSE

Drop-out and Out-of-School Edification Program

DSWD

Department of Social Welfare and Development

DTC

Dynamic Teen Company

ECCD

Early Childhood Care and Development

EFA

Education for All

K4

Kariton Klasrum, Klinik, Kantin

K4K

Kariton for Kids

LCC

Literacy Coordinating Council

LEAP

Learners Educational Aid Program

MPS

Mean percentage scores

MCCT

Modified Conditional Cash Transfer

NAT

National Achievement Test

PHP

Philippine Peso

SEF

Special Education Fund

vii

Preface
There has been significant progress towards the six EFA goals, however, all available indicators
are pointing to a bitter reality that EFA will be an unfinished business. The 2013/4 EFA Global
Monitoring Report has concluded that with less than two years until the 2015 deadline, the
world is not on track. Amidst the many challenges, many countries have demonstrated how
achievements can be made with the commitment from government, expanded partnerships,
innovative thinking and efficient use of resources. There are lessons to be learned.
At the Global EFA Meeting (GEM) in Paris in November 2012, Ministers, heads of delegations, leading
officials of multilateral and bilateral organizations, and senior representatives of civil society and
private sector organizations, including those from Asia-Pacific, committed to the Big Push. The
GEM participants called upon governments and EFA partners to identify successful initiatives and
innovative practices and to adapt, replicate, or scale-up such initiatives to speed up EFA progress.
Subsequently, the 13th Regional Meeting of National EFA Coordinators: The Big Push, which was
organized in Bangkok, Thailand on 26-27 February 2013 as a follow up to the GEM, underscored
the need for increased knowledge on innovative and creative ways of addressing EFA challenges
so as to inform policy-making and programme development on EFA. To this end, the meeting
requested UNESCO Bangkok to document innovative approaches and effective practices from
countries that have succeeded in transforming EFA goals into concrete realities and to disseminate
this knowledge for the benefit of all countries.
The Asia-Pacific region is full of successful initiatives, with stories of good practices in almost every
country. Over the years, UNESCO has documented these practices to share them with a wider
audience. These five country case studies provide in-depth understanding of promising initiatives
that are critical in EFA acceleration in Asia-Pacific. While this research attempts to gather evidence
on successful initiatives that have helped countries to accelerate EFA progress, it should be noted
that these case studies are some examples selected from a vast pool of equally promising EFA
practices in this region.

viii

Acknowledgements
The Country Case Studies on Promising EFA Practices in Asia-Pacific have been published with the
support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT).
We would like to thank the following experts and their respective institutes for preparing the
five country case studies on promising EFA practices in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia
and the Philippines respectively: Dr. Manzoor Ahmed, Mahmuda Akhter, Dr. Anisuzzaman, and
Mahfuzar Rahman Jewel of the Institute of Child and Human Development (ICHD), Bangladesh;
Sitha Chhinh, Sarom Mok, Chhang Roth and Youhan Hor of the Royal Phnom Penh University
(RUPP), Cambodia; Anuradha De and Meera Samson of Collaborative Research and Dissemination
(CORD), India; Dr. Ella Yulaelawati, MA, Ph.D, Dr. Faisal Madani, M.Sc. Ed, Aryo Radiyo Sawung, M.Ed,
Cecep Somantri, S.S, and Dr. Suryadi Nomi of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO,
Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC) of the Republic of Indonesia; and Elaissa Marina Mendoza
and the Research Studies Unit of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional
Centre for Innovation and Technology (SEAMEO INNOTECH).
Thank you to the following colleagues who provided their support in liaising with the respective
governments and institutes in the preparation of these country case studies on promising EFA
practices: Anwar Alsaid, Mee Young Choi and Nurhajati Sugianto, UNESCO Office in Jakarta;
Santosh Khatri, UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh; Kiichi Oyasu and Shereen Akhter, UNESCO Office
in Dhaka; Alisher Umarov and Girish Joshi, UNESCO Office in New Delhi; and Shailendra Sigdel,
UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) New Delhi Cluster Office.
Our appreciation also goes to reviewers of the case studies: Min Bista, Gwang-Chol Chang,
David Clarke, Ginger Gruters, Hyunjeong Lee, Sun Lei, Tanvir Muntasim, Malisa Santigul, Nurhajati
Sugianto, Bertrand Tchatchoua, Nyi Nyi Thaung and Marlene Cruz Zegarra.

ix

Executive Summary
This case study on promising practices in Education for All (EFA) in the Philippines was
commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok with support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) as
one of five country case studies from the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific region is full of
successful and innovative initiatives that have helped governments accelerate EFA progress at
the country level. Governments in the region and beyond can learn from these experiences.
It is in this context UNESCO Bangkok has embarked on the documentation of such practices.
A major part of what the Philippines committed to in Dakar in 2000 was reaching the marginalized
and the underserved. Achieving the EFA goals means that the needs and circumstances of
the poorest, the most vulnerable, and the most neglected of the children and youth must be
attended to and addressed. In the Philippines, many out-of-school children are street children;
a major concern that the Philippine EFA 2015 Plan hopes to address. A number of initiatives
have been implemented to tackle this issue, including that of the Kariton Klasrum (Pushcart
classroom), an alternative system of education that is offered to street children and out-ofschool youth.
Formally recognized by the Philippines Department of Education as a highly promising
alternative delivery mode that can help increase access to basic education, the Kariton Klasrum
recognizes the need for new approaches that are tailor-made for vulnerable groups. The Kariton
Klasrum has also been included in the Department of Social Welfare and Developments Modified
Conditional Cash Transfer programme. This initiative received international recognition when
Efren Peaflorida, the leader of the group that founded the project, was named CNN Hero of
the Year for 2009.

This case study involved a desk review, field observations, focus group discussions and key
informant interviews. The study examined the background and rationale of the Kariton Klasrum
programme, its content, the profile of learners and volunteers, factors contributing to its success,
the challenges faced, and the lessons learned through the implementation of the programme.
The study also looked at the impact on learners and volunteers and the programmes replicability
against the overall EFA situation in the Philippines, the local EFA initiatives, and synergies of the
Kariton Klasrum programme with formal education and other EFA-related programmes.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The programme was developed and implemented by the Dynamic Teen Company (DTC), a
non-governmental organization based in Cavite City. As part of this initiative, the DTC uses the
kariton, a pushcart that is used mostly by the poor in urban areas to collect scrap and used
bottles, as their mode of bringing a mobile classroom to street children. The Kariton Klasrum
programme provides alternative education, healthcare and food to disadvantaged children
with the aim of encouraging the children to attend or return to school. The Kariton Klasrum is
the core element of the K4 Project, which stands for Kariton Klasrum, Klinik and Kantin (Pushcart
Classroom, Clinic and Canteen).

The study findings reveal that the K4 brings the classroom to the communities and provides
the learning materials and environment for children to learn. The programme has also been
providing food and first aid services without putting any financial burden on the learners. Kariton
Klasrums have been responsive to the learners needs and realities. The study also uncovered issues
regarding the availability and sustainability of volunteers, the need for standardized curriculum
across all local sites, the need for classroom- and performance-based assessment tools, the lack
of effective monitoring and evaluation of the programme, and the critical role of partners and
stakeholders to the success and sustainability of the programme. The strengthening of these areas
is recommended by the study.

Introduction

1.1 Background
As Education for All (EFA) continues to be a rallying call among many developing countries, one
of the major realizations as the deadline of 2015 draws nearer is that challenges in making the
EFA goals a lived reality are still aplenty, and that the solutions to these remain beyond reach for
many. According to the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report, the world is not on track to achieve
all of the targets by 2015, despite the advancements that have been made in a number of areas.
The commitment that many countries have expressed on a rhetorical level is being hampered by
human, institutional and structural constraints that make the task even more formidable.
The Philippine experience reflects these realities, as it has registered an uneven performance in the
implementation of EFA. But even against this bleak global and national backdrop, the Philippines
continues to be relentless in its pursuit of achieving the EFA goals. A number of programmes,
projects and good practices have been conceptualized, implemented and strengthened towards
this end. One such initiative is the Kariton Klasrum (Pushcart Classroom), an alternative system
of education that is offered to street children and out-of-school youth. It was developed and
implemented by Dynamic Teen Company (DTC), a non-governmental organization based in Cavite
City, which is located south of Manila. The DTC uses the lowly kariton, a pushcart used mostly
by the poor in urban areas to collect scrap and used bottles, as their mode of bringing a mobile
classroom to street children. The Kariton Klasrum programme provides alternative education,
healthcare and food to disadvantaged children with the aim of encouraging the children to attend
or return to school.
In 2013 UNESCO Bangkok with support from the Japanese Funds-in-Trust (JFIT) commissioned the
SEAMEO INNOTECH to conduct a case study of a successful and innovative initiative that has been
critical in fast-tracking EFA in the Philippines. SEAMEO INNOTECH selected the Kariton Klasrum
programme, as it is regarded as highly promising.

1.2 Study scope and method


The study examined the background and rationale of the Kariton Klasrum programme, the
programmes content, the profile of learners and volunteers, factors contributing to its success
and the challenges faced, and the lessons learned through the implementation of the programme.
In addition, the study looked at the programmes impact on learners and volunteers and the
replication possibilities, against the backdrop of the overall EFA situation in the Philippines, the
local EFA initiatives, and synergies of the Kariton Klasrum programme with formal education and
other EFA-related programmes.
The Research Studies Unit of SEAMEO INNOTECH undertook this case study research between
June 2013 and January 2014, using the following methods: a desk review, field observations, focus
group discussions and key informant interviews.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The desk review examined EFA reports and other monitoring documents, including those
describing EFA initiatives such as the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme, locally known as
the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps). The members of the research team then visited Cavite
City (in Region IV-A), Novaliches City (in Metro Manila) and Bacolod City (in Region VI) to conduct
field observations on the implementation of the Kariton Klasrum programme in these places. In
addition to photo and video documentation, the research team collected pertinent information
such as number and type of learners and volunteers, modes of programme and class delivery
and the outcomes of the programme. Furthermore, the team noted the factors contributing
to successes and the challenges encountered in the implementation of this programme. The
team also conducted focus group discussions and interviews with the implementers, volunteer
teachers, learners and parents. The outcome of this process was a comprehensive overview of
what the Kariton Klasrum programme is all about.

Overall EFA situation in


Philippines

In 2013, with the goal of assessing the progress made by the Philippines in terms of the EFA
Goals, the Philippines National EFA Committee, with technical assistance from SEAMEO INNOTECH,
undertook a study that looked into the gains and gaps in the pursuit of the four EFA Goals and
the attendant six production tasks and three enabling tasks defined in the Philippine Education
for All 2015 National Action Plan. This section summarizes the major findings of that assessment.
The Philippine EFA 2015 Plan of Action, anchored on the Dakar Framework for Action on EFA,
serves as the overarching framework for basic education in the country. As indicated in this basic
education blueprint, every citizen should be provided with the basic competencies that will make
her or him functionally literate.
The four Philippine EFA 2015 Goals are:
1. Universal coverage of out-of-school youth and adults in the provision of basic learning needs.
2. Universal school participation and total elimination of dropouts and repeaters in grades 1 to 3.
3. Universal completion of the full basic education cycle with satisfactory annual achievement levels.
4. Total community commitment to the attainment of basic education competencies for all.
Achieving a significantly higher level of literacy beyond basic literacy is a key component of EFA
efforts in the Philippines. The Philippines aimed to attain at least 84.59 per cent functional literacy
by 2015. This target was easily surpassed a few years before the 2015 deadline, as revealed in the
results of the 2008 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey, which found that 86.4
per cent of Filipino children aged 10 years and above were functionally literate. This represents a
2 percentage point increase from the 2003 survey.

Goal 1: Universal coverage of out-of-school youth


and adults in providing learning needs
Of the 9 million functionally illiterate Filipino out-of-school youth and adults, 23 per cent were
targeted to acquire, by 2015, basic learning skills through Department of Education (DepEd)
programmes, in accordance with the Philippine EFA 2015 Plan.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Although the target was met, it is clear that universal functional literacy is still far from being realized,
with 13.6 per cent of children, approximately 9 million, still functionally illiterate. Furthermore, if
the broader definition of functional literacy used by the Bureau of Alternative Learning (BALS) of
the Department of Education were adopted instead of the National Statistics Offices definition,
the 86.4 per cent figure may well be overstated.

According to data from the DepEd, the National Statistics Office and other organizations,
the number of Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners 1 rose between 2006 and
2002, along with the number of Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) test takers2
and passers. Despite the numerous ALS programmes and the untiring efforts to implement
these, data show that improvements are quite insignificant relative to the absolute number of
functionally illiterate people. Only 5.7 per cent of out-of-school youth have been enrolled in DepEd
programmes, indicating that a 17.4 per cent gap must be closed by 2015 if the target is to be
reached. This is a formidable task given that the annual rate of increase of enrolments has been
pegged at only 1 per cent.
The Philippines risks of falling short of other targets as well. One such target is that 32.5 per cent
of literacy programme clients will complete the ALS programmes with the desired literacy level.
In 2011, however, only 4.2 per cent of the 9 million functionally illiterate Filipinos had completed
an ALS programme. Thus, there is a gap of 28.3 percentage gap to fill before 2015. Furthermore, of
those who completed ALS programmes, only 0.8 per cent successfully completed the A&E tests,
a huge 31.7 percentage points from the target.
It is important to note that these figures represent only the learners that have been reached and
documented by DepEd, and do not include the out-of-school learners being served by those
outside DepEd such as local government units (LGUs), non-governmental organizations, academe
and private organizations. Since there is still no operational information management service for
data relating to out-of-school children and youth and no official consolidated data on the number
of learners served, a profile in terms of who and where they are, their specific needs and the level
of their literacy skill improvement cannot be accurately measured.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Goal 2: Universal school participation and


elimination of school leavers and repeaters in the
first three grades

To achieve this goal, numerous efforts were undertaken to expand and improve the delivery of
Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) programmes and services, particularly among the
most vulnerable and disadvantaged children. These efforts were conducted in recognition that
investing in the early years is a crucial step that sets the stage for learning and productivity through
increased access to schooling, improved learning outcomes and high returns in education. Some
of these efforts include landmark legislation such as the ECCD Act of 2000, which institutionalizes
a national ECCD system that is comprehensive, integrative and sustainable, and the Kindergarten
Education Act of 2012, which institutionalizes kindergarten education as part of the basic education
cycle, making it compulsory for all five-year-olds. Measures were also taken to improve the quality
of ECCD programmes and services. Despite these initiatives, gaps remain in the EFA targets for the
goal regarding six-year-olds becoming well-equipped to enter grade 1.
1 The ALS is a parallel learning system that provides a practical alternative to existing formal instruction and
encompasses both non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills. The target learners of ALS consist of
marginalized out-of-school children, out-of-school youth and adults who lack the basic literacy skills, out-of-school
youth and adults who are literate but unable to finish basic education, and out-of-school youth and adults with
special needs. Most of these target learners live below the poverty line and come from depressed, disadvantaged
underserved communities.
2 The A&E programme is a non-formal education certification programme for out-of-school children, youth and adults
that recognizes prior learning. It offers elementary and secondary education comparable to that of formal basic
education. The A&E test takers are those who wish to receive formal recognition of having an education equivalent
to elementary or high school graduates.

In recognition of the importance of early childhood education, enrolment in pre-school has


increased in recent years, rising to 75.7 per cent in school year 201011 from 68 per cent in the
previous year. There remains, however, a 24.3 percentage gap to be filled by 2015. Yet, if the
average annual increase of 13.6 percentage points is met, then the target may be reached in
2015. It should be noted, however, that the large increase in pre-school enrolments in school year
200910 may have been due to the exclusion of 4-year-olds from the population sample.
An alternative modality that has helped to expand pre-school education, particularly for marginalized
children, is the directive for day-care centres to become expanded pre-schools, which should use the
pre-school curriculum and teach pre-school competencies. Other alternative modalities include the
Preschool Service Contracting Scheme, covering accredited pre-school providers outside the public
system; and the Enhanced Eight-Week Kindergarten Summer Program, which is intended to widen
the coverage of pre-school education and to help children get ready for grade 1 academic work.
In spite of these efforts to expand pre-school programmes, a 2010 ECCD study that analyzed
School Readiness Assessment results found that only 40 per cent of the grade 1 entrants were
ready for school, with the remaining 60 per cent judged as needing to undergo the Eight-Week
Kindergarten Summer Program. Of the latter, close to a fifth of the children who completed the
programme were still not equipped to enter first grade. Improvements have been seen since then,
however, with the percentage of grade 1 entrants who have ECE experience increasing from 64.9
per cent in school year 201011 to 83.4 per cent in school year 201213.
This second EFA objective, while seeking universal pre-school education, seeks to also ensure all
children aged 6 and above are enrolled in school. Figures show that the net intake rate (NIR) has
increased in recent years, rising from 44 per cent in school year 200607 to 71 per cent in 201213.
While improvement has been seen, around one third of all six-year-olds are still not enrolled in
grade 1. Also, there is still a 24 per cent gap to be covered if the 95 per cent EFA target is to be
met. Net enrolment rates at the secondary level are not as high, with only 64.74 per cent enrolled
in secondary school in school year 201011. Thus, universal access may not be feasible by 2015.

The institutionalization of the Alternative Delivery Modes (ADMs), which the Department of
Education now calls the Flexible Learning Options, such as IMPACT (elementary level) and the
Open High School Program, which seek to address the learning needs of marginalized students
and those learners at risk of dropping out, is one major strategy that has been implemented to
reduce low participation, as well as to increase retention and completion rates among learners. A
number of other programmes have been put in place to ensure that more children are reached.
These include:

The Reaching All Children project, which aims to help 5.6 million out-of-school youth return

to public schools nationwide and to reduce the 6 per cent and 7.5 per cent elementary and
secondary drop-out rates, involves a combination of strategies using innovative catch and
hold interventions, and relies on the active involvement of local government units and other
stakeholders to find, reach, keep and assist these children complete school.

In collaboration with local and barangay (village) officials, the DepEd implemented the Early

Registration Day, in order to reach more out-of-school children and youth, especially those from

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The gender gap that traditionally favours males over females, palpable in other countries, is not
evident in the Philippines. In fact, the reverse is the case as females outnumber males in schools,
across all levels. In school year 201011, the gender gap, favouring females, in the net enrolment
rate widened as the level rose. There is a 2 per cent gender gap in kindergarten, 3 per cent at the
elementary level and 10 per cent gap at the secondary level.

disadvantaged groups like indigenous peoples and street children. This initiative, which aimed
to assist in the countrys efforts to achieve universal participation and completion of the basic
education cycle, necessitated a massive advocacy campaign that aimed to encourage parents
to register their children for school early, and to encourage the coordination of registration data
that would allow DepEd and the schools to prepare the resource needs and to provide education
interventions that could prevent pupils from dropping out.

The DepEds No Collection Policy prohibits the collection of certain school fees and prescribes

a schedule for the collection of some essential ones. By reducing the financial costs of attending
school, parents are more likely to send their children to school, which in turn increases student
enrolment and decreases their likelihood of dropping out.

The CCT programme, also popularly known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino programme (4Ps),

is a programme initiated by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that
grants the poorest households monthly allowances of 500 Philippine Pesos (PHP) for healthcare
and nutrition expenses, as well as allowances of PHP300 per child for educational expenses,
provided that certain conditions are met. One of the conditions is that children aged between
3 and 5 should attend pre-school classes at least 85 per cent of the time. Another requirement
is that children aged 6 to 14 should enrol in elementary or secondary schools and attend at
least 85 per cent of their classes. A study conducted on the CCT programme in the Philippines
revealed that it has had a strong and significant impact in terms of improving school enrolments,
particularly among the younger cohort of 9 to 12-year-old children (Chaudhury and Okamura,
2012). Results of FGDs among EFA cluster areas indicated a decline in school drop-out rates and
an improvement in the National Achievement Test (NAT) results in the areas where the CCT or 4Ps
had been implemented.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

In an analysis of internal school efficiency, it was found that around 6 per cent of elementary
students drop-out of school. Between school years 200607 and 201112, there was minimal
reduction in the overall elementary drop-out rate. Most of the drop-outs tended to come from
the lower grade levels, with a high 13.04 per cent of pupils dropping out of grade 1 in school year
201112. Males are more likely to leave school compared to females. Repetition rates, on the other
hand, are also highest in the first grade. Overall, around 2.1 per cent of children repeat grades.
There was only a slight decline in the repetition rates between school years 200607 and 201112.

Several programmes have been implemented to reduce the number of school leavers and
repeaters. These include the strengthened School Health and Nutrition Program, which is aimed
to enhance students motivation, improve outcomes, reduce absenteeism and ensure completion.
Another programme is the Every Child a Reader Program, which determines the reading ability
of pupils and offers a reading intervention programme that helps equip children with reading
and writing skills. Furthermore, the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE)
programme, which promotes the use of students native languages in instruction, has been shown
to boost their potential to learn and succeed in their academic lives, and the institutionalization
of this programme has proven to be effective in keeping children in school.

Goal 3: Universal completion of the full basic


education cycle with satisfactory annual
achievement levels
The Philippine EFA 2015 National Plan of Action aimed for all children aged 611 years old to
complete primary education, and for those aged 1215 to complete secondary education, with
satisfactory achievement levels. Except for the elementary completion rate, all indicators related
to this objective saw an improvement, albeit gradually, over the past five years.
During the period 2006 to 2011, the elementary completion rate had an annual average increase
of only 0.1 per cent. The rate reached 72.1 per cent in school year 201011, which is 9 percentage
points off the EFA target of 81. The secondary completion rate, on the other hand, was much
better, at 75.1 per cent in school year 201011, and is more in line with the EFA target of 75.3
per cent. More females than males completed both levels of schooling in school year 201011,
with a 9-point and a 10-point difference at the elementary and secondary levels, respectively, in
favour of females.
The major gains that were achieved in this area could be attributed to the implementation of
various programmes and practices that specifically targeted disadvantaged learners who have
difficulties completing basic education. The programmes identified as effective were those
that involve close collaboration with private groups and NGOs, such as the Education Service
Contracting scheme whereby DepEd engages the services of a private institution or group to
deliver services to students who could not be accommodated in public schools due to congestion.

Private schools, despite having better facilities and learning materials, exhibit lower educational
quality compared to public schools according to NAT MPS figures, with the former achieving lower
scores. Private schools scored 16 percentage points lower in the primary level NAT and 4 points lower
in the secondary level NAT relative to public schools. There was a marginal difference between males
and females, with females scoring 4 percentage points higher than males in school year 201011.
Achieving high quality education requires that DepEd implement measures to improve teaching.
One such initiative was the National Competency-Based Teaching Standards, developed and
adopted as the integrated framework for all teaching and teacher-development programmes
in the formal education sector. The implementation of the K to 12 Basic Education programme
was also a major government response to the call for enhancement in the quality of education
in the country. This programme entails not just lengthening the basic education cycle by adding
kindergarten and two more years in secondary school, but also enhancing the curriculum to
align with national and international education goals. The curriculum enhancements in the K to

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

This third EFA objective also aims for students to reach a minimum level of competence in order
to be academically prepared for the subsequent level of basic education. One of the measures of
quality of education, the mean percentage scores (MPS) in the NAT, reveals that the elementary
achievement level increased between the years 2006 and 2011. The total elementary NAT MPS in
2011 was at 68.88 per cent, which is 6.12 percentage points below the EFA target of 75 per cent. The
secondary NAT MPS registered a low 51.41 per cent and has a larger gap of 23.59 percentage points
from the EFA target. Science consistently registered the lowest MPS in both primary and secondary
levels. The average annual increase of 2.1 percentage points in the elementary level and 0.3 per cent
in the secondary level indicates that more improvements have to be made to achieve satisfactory
education quality.

12 programme are intended to address the needs and realities of the twenty-first century and are
designed to address the demands of the knowledge-based economy for local, national and global
development. A variety of other educational programmes have also been developed to improve
performance in specific subjects and courses, including science, mathematics and technical and
vocational education.
Overall, the prognosis seems to be good at the elementary level and it is likely that the primary-level
EFA quality targets will be reached. This does not seem to be the case, however, for the secondary level.

Goal 4: Total community commitment to


attaining basic educational competence for all
Realizing the goals of EFA 2015 requires the commitment of all stakeholders. In the pursuit of this
shared commitment, a number of government and non-government organizations forged the
Grand EFA Alliance. This led to the creation of the National EFA Committee whose 23 memberagencies are committed to achieve the EFA 2015 Goals. The declaration of DepEd Order 94, s.2009,
which mandated the creation of regional and division EFA committees that would better reach
the community level, further strengthened this commitment. Only six regions, or 36 per cent of
the total, have established these regional EFA committees thus far, however.
The Literacy Coordinating Council, which was created before the current EFA goals were set, may
be considered another initiative that has contributed to the improvements and progress towards
achieving the goals. This council is an inter-agency coordinating and advisory body tasked with
synchronizing and strengthening policies and efforts toward universalizing literacy. Many local
government units have organized city, municipal and barangay-level councils to advance literacy
at the local level.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Another achievement in recent years was the significant increase in the national education budget
as a share in the gross domestic product. The budget increased significantly from 2.8 per cent of
the gross domestic product in 2009 to 3.9 per cent in 2011. This, however, is still 2.1 percentage
points away from the 6 per cent share as prescribed in the Dakar Forum. But while basic education
remains a top provision in the national budget, the allocation remains insufficient to meet the
resource needs of the growing school-age population.

10

It is important to note that the education sector gets funding not only from the national government
allocation but also from the private sector, local governments and international donors. One of the
governments efforts to strengthen public-private partnerships, the Adopt-a-School programme3,
is an example of a programme that has benefited from external funding. Likewise, the Special
Education Fund (SEF) generated by the local school board from 1 per cent of real estate tax proceeds
augments the education budget. The SEF is set aside for the operation and maintenance of public
schools; construction and repair of school buildings, facilities and equipment; educational research;
purchase of books and periodicals for school use; and development of childrens sports talents (see
3 Initiated by the DepEd in 2000 with the passage of R.A. 8525, this programme allows the private sector, including
business organizations, NGOs, foundations, individuals and other private entities in the Philippines and outside,
to assist public schools in the country in addressing perennial problems such as classroom, desk and textbook
shortages, as well as to provide mechanisms that will allow the private sector to assist in the upgrading and
modernization of Philippine public schools. Private sector donations can be classified under technology support,
learning support, health and nutrition, literacy and physical infrastructure. In return, the private entities can avail of
tax incentives, enhance their corporate image and promote goodwill in the community.

Republic Act No. 5447, Section 1). The SEF contributions from LGUs saw an 8.8 percentage increase
in 2008 and an even higher increase, 11.2 per cent, in 2010 (COA, 2010). Overseas Development
Assistance, mostly in the form of loans, has been a major source of education funding as well, with
the World Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation providing more than half (52
per cent) of the total loans for the period 20002010 while the Australian Agency for International
Development (AusAid) provided almost half (46 per cent) of the total grants (USAID, 2011).

Conclusion
Overall, the Philippines is on track to achieving, or even surpassing, some of its key targets,
assuming that the current rate of improvement is sustained in those indicators. To a large extent,
significant improvements registered in many of the key indicators could be attributed to the
intensified efforts to implement the EFA catch-up plan. This plan, as formulated and executed by
the DepEd, has the following broad major strategies (cited in SEAMEO INNOTECH, 2014):

Engaging broad stakeholder support, including from civil society, the private sector, LGUs, other
government agencies and the donor community through programmes such as Brigada Eskwela
and the Adopt-a-School programme.

Focusing on reaching the unreached through special education delivery programmes.


Adopting operational inclusive education policy by establishing Madaris education as a subsystem in the current education system and implementing the National Indigenous Peoples
Education Policy Framework, among others.

Broadening the reach of the Alternative Learning System.


Providing interventions to improve access to education and the quality of education resources
such as classrooms, teachers, instructional materials, sanitation facilities and seats.

Finding

the children, bringing them to schools and keeping them there through specific
community-based advocacy initiatives such as parent education and linking with 4Ps.

Also critical to the DepEd approach is the focus on the 40 bottom divisions (provinces or cities),
defined as those at the bottom in terms of performance in participation rates, dropout rates,
completion rates, and national achievement rates.

Notwithstanding all these, a number of indicators are still at risk of not being met by 2015. Dropout rates in grades 13, as well as repetition rates, continue to be high, while the secondary-level
net enrolment rate and achievement in the NAT hover in the low range. These bottlenecks indicate
that there is an urgent need to re-strategize and sharpen focus on the existing disparities and
inequalities.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Key to the gains that have been achieved so far were the substantial increase in the national
budget allocation for education; the basic education development plans and programmes being
anchored on the EFA agenda as seen in the 4Ps programme and the Philippine Development Plan;
the complementary efforts by civil society; and the positive political will of the current leadership.

11

Out-of-school and street


children in the Philippines

3.1 Background
The considerable number of out-of-school children in the Philippines is a major concern that
the Philippine EFA 2015 Plan hopes to address. DepEd data show that in 2008 only 88 per cent
of primary-aged children (611 years old) were attending primary school, while an even lower
per cent (60 per cent) of secondary-aged children (1215 years old) were in secondary school. The
National Statistics Office revealed in their 2008 Annual Poverty Indicator Survey that around 2.9
million children aged 515 years old were out of school4. The 2009 EFA Global Monitoring Report
took note of such and referred to the Philippines as one of the countries with a sizable number
of out-of-school children.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Many out-of-school children are street children. A street child, as one oft-cited definition states,
is any girl or boy for whom the street (in the widest sense of the word, including unoccupied
dwellings, wasteland, etc) has become his or her habitual abode and/or source of livelihood; and
who is inadequately protected, supervised or directed by responsible adults (United Nations as
cited in UP CIDS PST & CSC, 2003). UNICEF defines street children as minors whose home ties are
so weakened that they essentially live on the streets, relying on their efforts to meet virtually all
their basic needs (cited in Lamberte, 2002).

12

There are various types of street children, with one of the most popular categorizations describing
street children as either on or of the streets. The children categorized as being on the street
(street-working) are those who spend most of their time on the street to earn a living or beg, but
generally return home, either regularly or irregularly. The street children who are of the streets
(street-living) are those who have no homes to return to they were possibly abandoned by family
or may not have any family left alive. They struggle on their own while living with other homeless
children or adults on the street. Another category is Street-family children, who live on the streets
with their respective families (WHO, 1995). As definitions continue to evolve, other categories have
emerged, such as street-connected children, which includes children for whom the street is a
reference point and one that plays a significant role in their lives, and children in street situations,
which recognizes that children take on numerous activities on the street, and that the problem
is not about the child but the situation she or he is in. (OHCHR, 2012).

4 Include those who are not in school, primary-aged children and older who either in pre-primary or non-formal education

Defining and categorizing street children is increasingly recognized as a complicated endeavour,


however. Research has shown that there is considerable overlap among the categories and that
these do not accurately reflect the childrens experiences (OHCR, 2012). Other social scientists
argue that the label street children is a socially constructed category that does not see the
children as being part of a clearly defined homogenous population (Thomas de Benitez, 2011). Still
others argue that the term is inappropriate because it weakens the focus on the interconnected
dimensions of child vulnerability (Soale, 2004). Street children in the Philippines have themselves
also raised objections as to how the term street children is traditionally defined because of the
negative connotations attached to it (e.g. deviant, petty thieves) (UP CIDS PST and CSC, 2003).
Since the 1990s, the big number of street children in the Philippines and the attendance issues have
been a grave concern (KidsRight & Leiden University, 2012). It is difficult to establish the exact number
of street children in the Philippines because of the difficulties in definition, the highly mobile and
vacillating nature of this group, and because not all of these children are visible. There have been
attempts to quantify this group, but such estimates need to be treated with caution. The most oftcited estimate gives the number of street children as 246,011 (Lamberte, 2002). This comprises 3
per cent of the population aged 017 years old, and 5 per cent of the countrys urban poor
children, which numbers over 4 million. Of the total number of street children located in 22 major
cities covered in the study, 22,556 (20 per cent) are considered as highly visible on the streets,
or those who require the most urgent or priority help. One study estimated that in Metro Manila
alone there are an estimated 11,346 highly visible street children. Other studies have estimated
that the City of Manila has 3,266 street children, while Caloocan City has 1,530, Pasay City has 1,420;
and Quezon City has 2,867.
In another study, Cebu City (in the Visayas region) was reported to have 5,000 street children
(Pomm, 2005). A recent study reported that some organizations now estimate the number of
street children in some parts of the country to be much higher, and that about 150,000 children
live on the streets of Manila without families (Fondation Sanofi Espoir, 2012). According to the
studies, a majority of the street children are boys. Girls tend to be fewer, probably because they
are generally expected to help younger siblings, are usually employed as household help, or are
lured into prostitution (Silva, 2003). Despite being relatively fewer, the girls, on account of their
gender and situation in the streets, tend to be more vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse, to
teenage pregnancies and to sexually transmitted diseases (Childhope Asia Philippines as cited in
Bahay Tuluyan, 2009).

There are numerous factors that push children onto a life in the streets. Some of the major
factors that have been identified are poverty (low family income), homelessness, adverse family
relationships (neglect or physical or sexual abuse), school failure, loss of parents due to armed
conflicts and natural disasters, and peer influence (Soale, 2004). In Metro Manila and other urban
centres where income inequality, rapid population growth, urbanization and migration have
worsened over the years, poor children face greater risk of being thrown into a life where they
need to eke out a living or fend for themselves on the streets.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

3.2 Why there are street children in the


Philippines

13

In a more detailed categorization of causes, Silva (2003) enumerated the causes or factors of the
street children phenomenon (quoted verbatim below):

Immediate causes (factors to do with the children and family):

Poor and large families


Unemployed/underemployed parents/children
Irresponsible parents
Family values that are materialistic/consumerist
Family conflict
Family environment
Vices of parents
Child himself
Degradation of morals, violent upbringing by parents
Traditional family values that dictate that girls should merely stay at home
Lack of knowledge and parenting skills
Emerging social values conflict with traditional values
Underlying causes (factors to do with the community):

Insufficient access to basic services


Non-availability of adequate employment opportunities
Inequitable distribution of resources and opportunity in the community (e.g. land ownership)
Nature and conditions of work/employment: formal and informal sectors
Congestion in slum areas
Inadequate housing and poor housing facilities
Poor law enforcement and exploitation by law enforcers
Only one style of delivery of education exists
Deterioration of values
Central body provides no or few activities for children
Root Causes (Factors to do with society):

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Economic, political and ideological superstructure


Structural roots of poverty and underdevelopment
The unequal world order and the debt burden

14

A street childs history is likely to be a unique combination of several of these factors. While scarcity
of basic needs or poverty is a major risk factor, it has not led all poor children to live in the streets.
The quality of the family relationships is of great significance. Some family situations may put
tremendous pressure on a child to leave home and seek support from others living in the streets
(Soale, 2004). Peer pressure can act as a trigger, with young children being encouraged or forced
into the street life by older siblings or friends who are already living such a life.

3.3 Key issues and risks faced by street children


in the Philippines
A study commissioned by UNICEF found that street children in the Philippines tend to engage in
the following activities (Lamberte, 2002):

Income-generating activities such as vending, scavenging and washing and/or watching cars,
buses, market stalls.

Resting and interacting with peers, such as playing with other kids, telling stories/ conversing with
other children, eating and drinking with other children and sleeping.

Engaging in high-risk behaviours such as sniffing, rugby and gambling.


Most of the children, particularly in the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) and in Mindanao,
are engaged in income-generating work to meet their basic needs. Most of these activities are
hazardous and have, therefore, increased the vulnerabilities of the children, as they become more
exposed to illnesses and/or exploitation by adults. The problems they face on a daily basis include
undernourishment, lack of education, physical injuries due to vehicular accidents, street fights,
harassment by either or both the law enforcers and extortionists, substance abuse, smoking,
gambling, sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and AIDS, and a variety of other illnesses. In
a recent report, four basic issues were revealed to be the major risks factors for street children in
the Philippines (KidsRights, 2012). These factors are listed below.
Poor nutrition and an unhygienic lifestyle: Street children tend to be malnourished and
deprived of good nutrition. They are at high risk of contracting serious infectious diseases, primarily
as a result of sleeping and living in unsanitary situations. The most common health problems
reported are coughs, fevers, dyspnoea, diarrhoea, and blood in the faeces.
Dangerous working conditions: The children who work in the streets are exposed to conditions
hazardous to their health and lives. For instance, Filipino children who work as scavengers in the
dumps of Metro Manila have a high probability of suffering from respiratory infections or being
buried under unstable piles of garbage.
Violence and abuse: Living and working in the streets makes the children particularly vulnerable
to violence and abuse, whether physical or sexual. Psychosocial support for these children is
imperative given the adverse physical and psychological impact that they are likely to experience
as a result of this violence and abuse.

3.4 Initiatives related to street children in


the Philippines
Legislative initiatives on child protection seeking to protect the children from abuse, exploitation,
discrimination, and child labour; are some of the major efforts that have been undertaken towards
upholding the rights and welfare of Filipino street children.
The existing laws and policies are as follows:

Republic Act 7610; an Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection of Children
Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Rescue operations: While inadequate housing and shelter is an issue faced by street children
worldwide, street children in the Philippines face a particular issue related to life on the streets
called rescue operations or the act of a government agency physically removing a child from the
streets for the stated purpose of removing the child from danger (Bahay Tuluyan, 2009). A study
has found that this practice is indiscriminate, involuntary, harmful and ineffective.

15

Republic Act 7658; an Act Prohibiting the Employment of Children Below 15 Years of Age in Public
and Private Undertakings.

Republic Act 8639; the Family Courts Act.


Republic Act 9231; Act Prohibiting Employment of Children in Hazardous Areas.
Presidential Decree 603; Child and Youth Welfare Code.
Republic Act 9262; Act on Defining Violence against Women and their Children.
Republic Act 9231; Act Providing for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child

Labor and

Affording Stronger Protection for the Working Child.

Republic Act 9344; Act Establishing a Comprehensive Juvenile Justice and Welfare System.
Republic Act 9208; Act to Institute Policies to Eliminate Trafficking in Persons Especially Women
and Children.

There is, however, no specific law that addresses the special conditions and needs of street
children. In 2013, a bill was filed in the Senate (Senate Bill 685) that aims to assist in providing street
children the means to uplift their conditions and take them out of the street through programs
that will equip them with livelihood, technical and social skills. This bill likewise mandates the
establishment of crisis centres for street children all over the country. As of March 2014, the bill
was still pending at the Senate committee level.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

In the meantime, national and local government agencies and non-governmental organizations
continue to work hand in hand to address the situation of the growing number of Filipino street
children. An example of the cooperative effort is the Council for the Welfare of Children, under the
Office of the President, which is the focal inter-agency institution for children of the government
of the Philippines and is mandated to coordinate issues pertaining to the rights of the child. It
chairs the National Network for Street Children, which is charged with coordinating the initiatives
of government and non-governmental agencies intended for street children. A key government
agency providing services for street children is the DSWD. International organizations, such as Save
the Children, World Vision and UNICEF, and local NGOs such as Childhope Asia Philippines, Bahay
Tuluyan and the Virlanie Foundation have also been active in improving the plight of the children.

16

The Klasrum programme

Bringing education to out-of-school and marginalized children is a major goal under EFA. To address
this requires countries to move beyond formal education and explore non-formal initiatives that
could pave the way for children to return to mainstream education later on. One EFA initiative in
the Philippines that has attracted both national and international attention is the Kariton Klasrum
(Pushcart Classroom). The Kariton Klasrum is the core element of the K4 Project, which stands for
Kariton Klasrum, Klinik and Kantin (Pushcart Classroom, Clinic and Canteen). It began in Cavite
City as a six-month-long, weekly educational intervention conducted among street children and
out-of-school youth, but has now spread to underprivileged children in other areas of the country.
The lowly kariton that serves as the programmes main symbol and tool is a pushcart made of
scrap wood, metal and rubber mostly used by bottle, newspaper and scrap collectors to eke out
a living while serving also as a mode of transportation, a home, a bed, an occupational tool and as
a playground for others. With its improvised engineering and construction, the kariton has come
to symbolize not just poverty but also Filipino ingenuity (de Gracia, 2012). For the Dynamic Teen
Company, the founders of the K4 project, the kariton serves not only as a means to house and
transport all the learning materials, food and first-aid supplies needed by the children, but, for the
proponents and learners, it also symbolizes both the destitution and the hope that constantly
consume these childrens lives.

4.1 Background

The DTC is one of the groups under the humanitarian arm of its mother organization
the non-profit, Christian youth organization, Club 8586, Inc. Other groups that have emerged
from this humanitarian arm are Championing
Community Children and Mind Your Rights. As
the mother organization, Club 8586 provided
yearly operational funds (sourced from monthly
contributions of its members based in the
Philippines and outside) and initial capacitybuilding activities for the DTC in support of the
latters literacy activities. Fundraising activities,
such as small concerts, game shows, and selling
SEAMEO INNOTECH
of junk and recycled goods were likewise

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The K4 Project was born from the hearts and minds of a group of high school students led by
Efren Peaflorida. Mr Peaflorida experienced bullying at secondary school, which almost made
him quit school. Instead, Mr Peaflorida, along with his classmates, formed, in 1997, a youth group
in high school which they named the Dynamic Teen Company. Initially composed of 20 teenage
members, the group made it its mission to provide youth with a venue away from street gangs
and unproductive behaviour. The DTC sought, and seeks today, to lead children and youth in the
right direction, (and to) train and develop them to become good, productive, and responsible
citizens through activities such as youth awareness projects, talent enhancement programmes,
self-development activities, and community service (DTC, 2012).

17

undertaken to finance their activities. Meanwhile, the DTCs outreach activities in the depressed
areas in Cavite City continued regularly. Their forays to the dump, in particular, opened their eyes
significantly to the realities of a growing sector of the youth who were not in school.
It was in 2007 that the Kariton Klasrum was launched. A fire that razed an old headquarters of
Club 8586 left them with a kariton that was used for transporting some materials to the new
headquarters. It was decided that a kariton would be a better alternative to using a pedicab5, which
had initially been used for transporting materials, because the latter frequently had flat tires, which
delayed the outreach activities. The lowly kariton got a makeover and it slowly evolved into its
present design complete with shelves and drawers (see Figure 1). Today, the DTC possesses four
pushcarts and these have made their way to various parts of the city, particularly to those that
have a high number of street children and out-of-school youth.
The kariton became famous on the world stage in
2009 when the Kariton Klasrum initiative earned
Efren Peaflorida the distinction of CNN Hero of the
Year. According to Mr Harnin Bonn Manalaysay,
Club 8586 founder and mentor to Efren Peaflorida,
the CNN Hero saga started with a YouTube post
about the Kariton Klasrum that got the attention
of Oprah Winfreys Angel Network and eventually
SEAMEO INNOTECH
of CNN which invited Mr Manalaysay to nominate
one of the founders of Kariton Klasrum for the
award (personal communication, 11 December 2013). Mr Manalaysay chose to nominate Efren
Peaflorida as the representative of this collective effort. As the CNN Hero, Mr Peaflorida received
prize money of USD25,000, the bulk of which went towards building the present headquarters
of DTC and towards scholarships for underprivileged children. This award created a ripple effect
in the community, leading to greater commitment to, and interest in,, the Kariton Klasrum
programme, particularly among the children, who saw this award as concrete proof that hard
work and a committed heart can bring you recognition and fulfilment (H. Manalaysay, personal
communication, 11 December 2013). Receiving this distinction was also a catalyst for donations
and other support (e.g. books, pushcarts, a photocopier, computer, drinking water, food, etc.) from
the government, private sector and civil society, both locally and globally. It eventually led to the
entry of the Philippine Department of Education in 2011 as a partner, when the DepEd decided
to adopt and replicate the Kariton Klasrum concept in the various areas of the country.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Figure 1: The anatomy of the Kariton Klasrum

Blackboard for teaching and for


hanging various things, such as a
tarpaulin during rain.
85cm

111cm

Shelves for books, toys and other


learning materials and supplies.

103cm
For foldable tables, chairs, and
big water jugs.

58cm

34cm

Drawers as food bins (to shade the


food from the sun).

160cm

Dynamic Teen Company

5 Similar to a motorized tricycle but is designed to be powered by a person in transporting people or goods

18

4.2 Rationale of the programme


The Kariton Klasrum came about as a result of both personal and social factors. Efren Peafloridas
personal experience helped drive the development of the Kariton Klasrum programme. The
experience of being bullied in school led Mr Peaflorida and the other founders of the programme
to reflect on the issues that force children to drop out and leave the formal school system, and to
think about the lack of alternatives to the formal system. The DTC founders decided that there was
a clear need for alternatives, tailored to local contexts, which would provide out-of-school children
and youth with positive educational activities.

Cavite City
Cavite City is one of the six (cities of the province of Cavite, which belongs to Region IV-A6
(the Calabarzon7 region). It lies southwest of Manila. As of 2010, Cavite Province had a population
of 3,090,691 and is considered the most populous province in the country (National Statistics
Office, 2012). The population of Cavite comprises close to a quarter of Region IV-As population.
It has the fastest population growth rate in the country, with the growth rate per decade more
than doubling the average registered at the national level during the same periods (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Comparative population growth rate, by decade (19902010)
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0

5.99
5.05
4.12
2.34

1990-2000

Cavite

1.9

2.12

2000-2010

1990-2010

Philippines

Source: National Statistics Office, 2012

This demographic trend is one of the main factors contributing to the increasing number of street
children, drop-outs and out-of-school youth in the city in recent decades. The increasing poverty
incidence among the population also is likely to be another key factor (See Figure 3). Poverty
continues to force families to discontinue or de-prioritize their childrens education. Some children
are pushed to make a living on the streets at an early age while other children leave their families
or have no option but to live in the streets, becoming exposed to gangs, drugs and adverse risks.

6 Regions are administrative divisions of the country that serve to organize provinces for administrative efficiency.
With the exception of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the regions are not assigned a separate
local government.
7 Calabarzon Region is Region IV-A and is composed of five provinces, namely, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and
Quezon.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The high growth rate was primarily brought about by the industrialization of Cavite, which drove
significant in-migration, with many companies and workers choosing to establish themselves in
the province (CPPDO, 2012).

19

Figure 3: Poverty incidence in the population in Cavite Province (20062009)

6.8
6.7
6.6
6.5
6.4
6.3
6.2
6.1
6
5.9

6.7

6.4
6.2

2003

2006

2009

Source: CCPDO, 2011

The dumpsite in Cavite, a landfill owned


and operated by the local government,
has become a symbol of the citys poverty.
Located adjacent to the cemetery and Manila
Bay, it was chosen as one of the first sites of
Kariton Klasrum because it was a magnet
for out-of-school children and youth who
scavenge for their livelihoods in the dump
to find items to sell or trade. Many of the
children who joined the programme in its
early years were child scavengers from the
dump.

SEAMEO INNOTECH

The basic education performance indicators in the city of Cavite also show a significant increase in
the drop-out rate for elementary-aged children between 2010 and 2012, indicating an increasing
number of out-of-school children during this period. Furthermore, the participation rates show
that a high percentage of school-age children, particularly in the secondary level, are not attending
school. The low cohort survival, which decreased among secondary-school children, and the
completion rates, though improving, are also a cause for concern (see Table 1).
Table 1: Basic education performance indicators in Cavite City (school years 201011 and
201112)

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Education Indicators
Elementary

201011

201112

Participation Rate

86.79%

91.94%

Cohort Survival Rate

76.83%

86.89%

75%

78%

Repetition Rate

1.46%

1.64%

Drop-out Rate

0.85%

1.41%

77%

77%

92.9%

84.26%

60%

80%

Repetition Rate

0.82%

1.15%

Drop-out Rate

14.64%

6.2%

Completion Rate

Secondary
Participation Rate
Cohort Survival Rate
Completion Rate

Source: DepEd Division of Cavite, 2011

20

A probable contributing factor to these poor education indicators is the fast population growth
seen in recent decades. As noted by the former K4 site head (R. Fajardo, personal communication,
December 11, 2013), Cavite City is a small but overpopulated city, where even areas that are
supposed to be unfit for habitation have become settlement areas for people. Aside from poor
living conditions, a factor affecting the school performance of children of migrants may also be
the difficulty experienced by some in coping with, and assimilating to, the new environment.
These factors contribute to the high number of out-of-school children, whose many needs merit
additional attention.

4.3 Programme content, management and


implementation
4.3.1 Vision, mission and objectives
While the K4 project provides an alternative to formal schooling, it is not envisioned as a programme
that is meant to replace formal schooling. Instead, the K4 project provides alternative learning
opportunities for street children and out-of-school youth with the aim of reducing illiteracy and
instilling a love for learning, with the long-term goal encouraging them to later return to formal
schooling. Thus, the K4 seeks to act as a bridge to formal education for children who have dropped
out, who have never been to school, or who have lost interest in attending formal school.
The vision of K4 is embodied in the following statement: School-going and learning-loving Filipino
children who were formerly on the streets (DTC, 2012).
Specifically, it envisions a Kariton Klasrum learner who:

Keeps herself or himself healthy and clean.


Possesses an interest to learn and to learn continuously.
Works harmoniously with other people.
Loves her or his country and nationality.
Takes part in the care and development of society.

The vision and mission are clearly focused on developing the life skills and civic skills necessary to
becoming lifelong learners. A strong grounding on Learning to Live Together competencies such
as nationalism and citizenship skills is also quite evident in these pronouncements.

4.3.2 Recruitment of learners


Recruitment of learners occurs a few months before the November start of the Kariton Klasrum.
The mapping of the locations is undertaken by DTC staff and volunteers. With the help of barangay
(village) captains or leaders, they identify the communities that have a high number of out-ofschool youth. A survey is then conducted to ask which children aged between 5 and 15 are not
attending school. Such children are invited to enlist in the K4 project. Parental approval is sought
when the children are still living with their families.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The mission is: After the six-month programme, learners should be able to relate Kariton Klasrum
learning and experiences to what they will experience in an actual school setting, to become
adaptive and responsive pupils and students (DTC, 2012).

21

4.3.3 Schedule
The K4 programme is for six months,
beginning in November and ending in April.
The November start avoids the rainy season,
which is at its heaviest during the period July
to September. The rainy season brings with it
the possibility of illnesses and of floods that
make navigation of the pushcarts difficult.
Each class, held weekly over the six-month
programme, is two hours in length.

4.3.4 Class groupings

SEAMEO INNOTECH

The Cavite Kariton Klasrum programme


originally grouped the participating
children by age, with four groups: 57 years
old, 810 years old, 1112 years old and
1315 years old. All classes are conducted
simultaneously at the site, handled by
one volunteer educator and one assistant
educator per class.
As of November 2013, however, the
SEAMEO INNOTECH
grouping is no longer based on age but on
literacy level. Similar to the system adopted
by the Bureau of Alternative Learning Systems, the children are categorized based on their level of
literacy regardless of age. The four levels are as follows: Basic literacy, Lower elementary, Advanced
elementary and Secondary. The age limit for learners to be admitted remains 15 years old. The
group assignment is determined based on the childrens scores in the Functional Literacy Test 8, a
screening assessment borrowed from BALS. Under the new system, the DTC started utilizing the
ALS teaching-learning materials developed by the DepEd.

4.3.5 Curriculum

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The Kariton Klasrum curriculum is primarily life-skills-based. The content includes topics that the
children can easily relate to and appreciate given their conditions and experiences in life. However, the
competencies to be learned are also intended to help address the lack of literacy among these children.

22

The curriculum and competency guide to be used for every group. has four main units: 1) Self-care
and development (personal); 2) Relating and being one with others (inter-personal); 3) Knowing
and living in ones community; and 4) Love of country (nationalism), with each unit requiring six
meetings (classes).

8 The Functional Literacy Test consists of five key parts, namely: 1) the Personal Information Sheet (PIS) which measures
the learners ability to write basic information about oneself, 2) the Reading test which measures understanding of
written selections, 3) the Numeracy test which assesses learners ability in basic mathematical operations, 4) the
Writing test which gauges learners ability to compose a few sentences and a paragraph, and 5) the Speaking and
Listening test which assesses the skills to listen and evaluate critically oral messages and respond appropriately to
ideas through verbal means.

The current curriculum is under ongoing review and therefore might change further. Given that
the K4 is only a six-month programme with weekly classes, the curriculum might eventually
resemble an abridged version of the ALS curriculum.

4.3.6 Class structure


A typical two-hour class begins with the children being gathered for the flag ceremony. This
is followed by a group singing activity that aims to increase the childrens interest in the rest
of the class activities. The volunteer teachers then divide the children into the different groups
(e.g. advanced elementary, secondary) and each group has a class comprised of three segments,
namely:
1. Lets Play! (Games and Recreation 20
25 minutes) This segment introduces
games and play activities to help increase
the motivation of students for learning.
This section also serves as review of
previous lessons.
2. Lets Explore! (Laboratory and Exploration
2025 minutes) By using a variety of
teaching strategies (e.g. storytelling and
film), the competencies outlined in the
curriculum are taught to the learners.

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3. Lets Think! (Reflection and Application


1520 minutes) This segment allows for integration and application of the concepts learned.
The themes discussed each week are based on the syllabus prepared for each learners group. An
example is the hand-washing lesson. Under Lets Play, a play activity involving pictures might be
implemented. Under Lets Explore, washing of hands is demonstrated. Under Lets Think, there
may be a discussion about the consequences of not washing hands properly.
After all three segments have been completed by each group, all of the groups combine for a
class prayer. Food is then served to the learners, the quantity of which depends on the number of
segments attended (see the Canteen section below).

Clinic. A separate kariton, stocked with basic first aid and medical supplies, is deployed with
the classroom kariton to serve as the klinik (clinic). The staff use these supplies to treat childrens
wounds and injuries, as well as for monitoring the progress of childrens health. In the event
that a child is in need of immediate medical
attention, she or he may be pulled out of
class and taken to a medical facility. The
staff also use the clinic kariton as a venue for
demonstrating hygiene-related activities. A
quarterly medical mission is also conducted
to monitor the health status of the children.
Canteen. The kantin (canteen) part of the
4K programme, involves the preparation and
provision of food and hot meals as incentives
for children to attend classes. The meals are

SEAMEO INNOTECH

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

4.3.7 Other services

23

prepared using mostly donated ingredients, and are cooked in different ways to ensure the children
do not tire of the taste. The amount of food that is given to the learners depends on how many learning
segments they have attended. A food chip is awarded to the learner after every learning segment is
completed. One chip is equivalent to either a certain food or a drink. Two chips could earn one a food
and drink combo. Three chips mean that they could avail of a full meal including some or all of the
following bread, soup, biscuits, oatmeal, juice and other items. This system encourages learners to
attend all of the learning segments of each class. This system also aims to teach responsibility and to
teach the children that actions have consequences.

4.3.8 Assessment
The Kariton Klasrum programme makes use of some assessment tools, such as checklists and
observations. No formal learning assessment tools are currently used, however. The initial thinking
supposed that the lack of quizzes and exams would allow the children to enjoy learning more
and this love of learning would consequently encourage them to go back to formal schooling.
This strategy is now under review, however. There is now growing recognition that the learners
should not be taught to shun assessment. Since formal schooling has assessment activities, the
kariton learner should perhaps be prepared for such a learning system. Thus, there are plans
to strengthen classroom-based and performance-based assessment in the succeeding kariton
periods as a strategy to both better monitor learning progress and to provide a bridge to the
learning environment the completers will experience if and when they return to the formal school
system.

4.4 Learner profile


Initially, the programme targeted the street children of Cavite City. According to the DTCs
Education Head, Mr Randie Salonga, however, the beneficiaries have since expanded from street
children to include all kinds of out-of-school children (personal communication, October 25, 2013).
One reason for this is the observation that it is necessary to meet the needs of the large number
of formal-school drop-outs, who drop-out as early as the third month of the school year.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

In the beginning years of the K4 project, the beneficiaries included children who were attending
school. These children were seen as needing additional support due to their continuing difficulties
in formal school. The DTC Board later decided to focus the K4 services on the school-aged children
who are not in school (i.e. those who have dropped out and those who have never been to
school) because these children have needs that are perceived to be more urgent. Those who are
already in school but need additional support to cope with school are now referred to a new DTC
programme, the Learners Educational Aid Program (LEAP).

24

The number of learners who have passed through the kariton classrooms since the programme
began has not been recorded. The DTC noted that in the past they were unequipped to keep a
formal record of the learners. In the most recent kariton period, however, they were able to compile
figures covering two sites in Cavite (see Table 2).

Table 2: Number of kariton learners, by age group and sex (201314)


AGE GROUP

Male

Female

TOTAL

57

13

12

25

810

1112

1315

10

TOTAL

26

17

43

Source: Dynamic Teen Company, 2014

According to the figures provided by the DTC, most of the learners belong to the 5 to7 yearold age group, followed by those aged between 13 and 15. There are more males than females.
According to the DTC Education Head, the total number of learners in 201314 was lower than
in previous years.
This drop in participants is believed to be due to the following factors:

Lack of support from parents Although many out-of-school youth were identified during the
mapping process, only a handful ended up enlisting in the K4 programme because parents tend
not to be supportive of such activities for their children. This was attributed to various reasons such
as parents own lack of education and the consequent lack of belief in non-formal educational
activities as a means to uplift their condition, or the parents need to engage the children in
household work or paid work that would augment family income.

Return to Formal School Fewer children at secondary-level are dropping out of formal school,

as a result of changes made in recent years in the formal education system that have reduced
drop-out rates.

4.5 Profile of volunteers


The K4 programme relies mainly on the work by a dedicated group of volunteers. The volunteers
receive no compensation or allowances. According to the DTC (2012), each kariton site may have
the following staff:

Outreach Coordinator She or he supervises and manages all the functions and events related to
the outreach programme.

Files and Records Head She or he keeps records and other files and forms regarding the outreach;
e.g. student enrolment records, attendee lists.

Site Head She or he is responsible for overseeing the entire site operation, and for regularly
Assistant Site Head She or he assists the site head in carrying out the assigned tasks, and takes
over in the absence of the site head.

Site Education Head She or he is in charge of carrying out and evaluating the educational
objectives of the programme, and of monitoring the educators and the progress of the learners.

Site Volunteers These site volunteers take on various roles, such as educators, assistant educators,
first aiders, supplies managers, food distributors, marshals, programme coordinators and song
leaders, timekeepers, helpers and kariton pushers. These sub-categories are not mutually exclusive.
Usually volunteers take on multiple roles and they all undergo the trainings for each role.

The positions vary, however, depending on the needs at each site and the number of learners
enlisted.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

meeting with the site volunteers and disseminating information to them.

25

The organizational structure is approximated in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Approximate organizational structure (2040 volunteers)
Outreach
Coordinator

Site Education
Head

Site Head
Files and
Records Team

Educators
Medical and
Hygiene Team

Food
Personnel

Supplies Manager
/Time Keeper

Helpers
Source: Dynamic Teen Company, 2012

In the past, the DTC did not keep any


systematic records of the numbers and
profiles of the volunteers that had taken
part in the K4 programme over the years.
Following a recommendation from a team
of SEAMEO INNOTECH observers, however,
the DTC began in November 2013 to keep
track of the volunteers. Based on these
records, the DTC has 91 volunteers, including
SEAMEO INNOTECH
those for the LEAP and DOSE programmes
(also known as Kariton Open High School
educators). It is to be noted, however, that some volunteers do not consistently show up.
Table 3 shows the number of volunteers for each assigned position in the various DTC programmes.
Table 3: Number of DTC volunteers by position/work (as of January 2014)

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Volunteer Position/ Work

26

Number

BOT (Officers)

Unit Heads

Mentors (Mentoring Class)

DOSE Teachers

K4 Educators

18

LEAP Educators

16

Cooks
Supplies Staff

3
3

Volunteer/ Helper, etc.

30

TOTAL

91

Source: Dynamic Teen Company, 2014

The records show that there are more female volunteers (57 per cent) compared to male (43
per cent). A significant proportion of the volunteers are aged between 15 and 18 (45 per cent).
Many are high school and college students (52 per cent), while a third of the volunteers are college
graduates who are working (38 per cent).
Every year, volunteers are sought out and
invited to join the K4 programme. The
DTC makes the rounds of high schools,
universities and colleges, particularly
whenever the number of volunteers has
dwindled in the previous year. Interested
students sign up. Before a school year starts,
the volunteers are gathered and oriented
about the programme. Every Sunday the DTC
provides trainings and mentoring sessions
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about various topics, including the situation
of street children, facilitation skills, leadership
skills, the development of big books or visual aids, personality development. These sessions allow
the volunteers to become more confident about their capacity to teach the children.
As of 2013, there was a plan under consideration to have the volunteers sign a six-month contract
so as to ensure a steady roster of volunteers working on K4 every Kariton Klasrum period. In return
for this commitment, the volunteers would receive privileges such as the opportunity to join
special outings and Christmas events (e.g. Pangarap na Pasko).

4.6 Profile of partners

Private sector partners include academic institutions, which have provided services and
scholarships, and companies that have given donations in the form of school supplies, food and
cash. International organizations, such as SEAMEO INNOTECH, have provided technical assistance
for some aspects of the programme. An international bank gave a grant for the purchase of some
equipment. Many private individuals have also contributed supplies, food and expertise (e.g. medical)
to the programme.
Examples of the private sector contributions are listed in Table 3.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The partners of DTC in the implementation of the Kariton Klasrum programme come from
the government and the private sector, both local and international. One of the programmes
biggest partners is the Department of Education, which encourages the replication of the kariton
programme, and which allows the use of their materials and resources, including modules and
tests. The DepEd Division of Cavite City, in particular, has been supportive of DTCs requests for
resources. The DSWD recently became a partner, in particular regarding the programmes link with
the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) programme.

27

Table 3: Examples of partners and contributions to the Kariton Klasrum programme


Partner

Donation/Contribution

SM Supermalls SM City Bacoor

Kariton Revolution venue and PHP20,000 worth of gift certificates

Golden ABC-Penshoppe

Kariton Revolution shirt

McDonalds

Kariton Revolution food

LBC Foundation

Document transfer and relief

Sunlife Foundation

LEAP assistance project

Abesamis

Eye check-up

Sony Philippines

Cash from charity event

ARC-RC Cola

Kariton Revolution and DTC Pop X Change, 4 scholars

Monde Nissin

Monde Nissin biscuits

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

PHP200,000

UBS

100 + black binding folders

UP College of Dentistry Batch 2013

Dental mission

AMA University

Scholarships

Source: Dynamic Teen Company, 2013

4.7 Impact of the Kariton Klasrum programme


Since the Kariton Klasrum programme began, hundreds of children and youth have experienced
the alternative system of learning that it offers, and dozens of volunteers have participated in the
programme. Interviews and focus group discussions with a sample of learners and volunteers have
identified the impact of this experience, as outlined below.

4.7.1 On learners
Increase in knowledge and skills
Learners reported that they have acquired literacy and numeracy skills. Some learners reported
having better reading and drawing skills as a result of the kariton programme, while others reported
that their writing skills have progressed.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Increased politeness and respect for others

28

DTC staff and volunteer educators were


as one in saying that learners have grown
to become more respectful of others,
which is particularly manifested in their
more frequent use of po (a Filipino term
expressing respect) and opo (polite yes)
and excuse me.

Increased interest in learning


Learners expressed greater interest in going
SEAMEO INNOTECH
back to school as a result of participating in
the programme. Some volunteer teachers
observed that many learners who made known their disinclination for formal schooling tended
to change their minds about school towards the end of the Kariton Klasrum period. And, although

formal records are not kept, the volunteers


reported that quite a number of these
children have actually gone back to school.
Furthermore, those who did re-enter formal
school after participating in the programme
showed more persistence in battling the
challenges related to attending school (e.g.
getting up in the morning, boredom) than
previously.

Less disruptive behaviour

SEAMEO INNOTECH

Some learners have been observed to


display less unruly and anti-social behaviour as a result of participating in the Kariton Klasrum.
For instance, according to the volunteer teachers, those who had bullying tendencies at the start
were later perceived to have reformed their ways.

Increased observance of rules


Volunteer teachers noted that learners had greater readiness to follow rules in class towards the
end of the programme period. Whereas some learners started out as undisciplined and headstrong,
they learned to behave better in class, seemingly more mindful of the rules.

4.7.2 On volunteers
Improved leadership, communication and social skills

Opportunities to continue their studies


The dedicated among the volunteers have been offered scholarships in college through the
Kalingain Batang Mahirap (KBM) Foundation, a non-profit organization associated with DTC. These
volunteers who have shown the commitment to help others learn have been themselves given
the support they needed to further their own learning.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Volunteering in the programme has


provided opportunities for the volunteers
to enhance their skills in many areas such
as leadership, communication and social
relations. The mentoring and training
sessions have helped the volunteers learn
more about what it takes to be a good
leader. Having to teach children has also
helped hone their public speaking skills,
particularly for those who described
SEAMEO INNOTECH
themselves as inherently quiet and shy.
Following this experience, some volunteers
have been asked to speak at seminars or other public events. The volunteers also reported that
they have become more comfortable with relating to other people (pakikisama) and have gained
friends and acquaintances in the process of their volunteer work.

29

4.7.3 On overall EFA goals


One of the weaknesses of the kariton programme is the dearth of monitoring data that would
help to precisely evaluate the impact and the effectiveness of the programme in terms of the EFA
goals. But some general observations can be made in view of the four Philippine EFA 2015 Goals:

Universal coverage of out-of-school youth and adults in the provision of basic learning needs.
It is clear that by providing out-of-school children with literacy and numeracy skills, the Kariton
Klasrum programme has increased access to education, thus assisting efforts towards achieving
universal coverage of out-of-school youth.

Universal school participation and total elimination of drop-outs and repeaters in grades 1 to 3.
By equipping learners with skills and encouraging the learners who have completed the kariton
programme to attend school or return to school, the programme is contributing to achieving
universal school participation and to preventing future drop-outs and repeaters.

Universal completion of the full basic education cycle with satisfactory annual achievement levels.
The skills gained through the kariton programme assist students who return to school to achieve
better grades.

Total community commitment to the attainment of basic education competencies for all.
The community-based nature of the kariton programme builds commitment at the local level for
the attainment by all citizens of basic education skills.

4.8 Factors promoting and hindering the


programme
Since its inception in 2007, the Kariton Klasrum programme has grown from a mere idea to become
a reality that has helped numerous underprivileged children. The factors that have contributed to
the programmes success are listed below, followed by factors that have hindered the programmes
progress.

Factors promoting success

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Warm relationship between teachers and students

30

The kariton classroom is a non-formal setting


that is characterized by a more relaxed and
warm atmosphere relative to classes held
in under the formal education system. The
teachers deal with the children in a way
that makes the latter feel at ease in class.
These learners tend to view their teachers as
older sisters (ate) or brothers (kuya), people
who can be easily approached for help
and support. The teachers are responsive
to the childrens needs and care about the
childrens progress, as evidenced by the

SEAMEO INNOTECH

tendency of teachers to conduct follow-ups with their students when possible. The relatively
small age difference between kariton teachers and the learners may also contribute to the good
relations between teachers and learners. The volunteer educators are mostly young students
themselves, and they are therefore people that the learners may more easily relate to.

Fun teaching methods


In an effort to make learning more attractive to the children, kariton teachers employ teaching
methods that are enjoyable. Teachers organize games and give out small rewards that add
enjoyment to the learning process. This not only enhances learning but helps to retain students
throughout the yearly session.

Feeding programme
One of the highly anticipated parts of the Kariton Klasrum programme for the participating
children is the food that is provided to learners. As residents of low-income communities, the
learners understandably look forward to the food, including hot meals, provided at the end of
each class.

Core of committed leaders and volunteers


Although many volunteers do come and go, Kariton Klasrum maintains a core of leaders, staff and
volunteers that are steadfast in their commitment to the ideals and operations of the programme.
The passion that this core has expressed for the cause serves as the motivational force for them
to get involved and stay involved. Such commitment has inspired many other volunteers to
contribute their time and skills to the initiative.

Support from partners


The partners of the programme have
expressed their support in a variety of ways,
including material, financial and moral this
support has proven critical in sustaining the
programme. As noted during the interviews
conducted, even simple encouragement
and words of support have motivated
the group to continuously improve the
programme.
SEAMEO INNOTECH

The DTC as an organization has been


recognized for its strong sense of community
in which members treat each other almost
like brothers and sisters. This strong bond
among the members leaders, staff, and
volunteers is anchored on faith and has
helped them push on with their programme
despite the challenges.
SEAMEO INNOTECH

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Sense of community

31

Mentoring
Related to the previous factors, the sense of community and passion for the cause has spawned
mentoring sessions every Sunday during which the DTC veterans, led by Efren Peaflorida and
his own mentor, Harnin Manalaysay, hold discussions about leadership, volunteerism and other
topics. These brownbag sessions allow the less experienced volunteers to learn from the leaders.

Support programs for learners


The learners have benefited not only from the kariton classes but also from other DTC programmes
that assist them to go further in their education. For instance, the Balik-Eskwela programme that
takes place in May of every year, in which learners are not only recognized for their accomplishments
during the Kariton Klasrum period but also receive school supplies that they can use for the formal
school should they choose to enrol. For those who do re-enrol in formal school, they have the
option to take advantage of DTCs LEAP, which provides tutorial lessons, health check-ups, free
school supplies and other assistance to help the children stay in school and finish their education.
All these extension services aim to increase the probability that learners continue their schooling
and succeed in the formal education system.

Hindering factors
A number of factors have been identified that tend to limit the operations of Kariton Klasrum.

Lack of assessment skills


As volunteer educators are mostly high school or college students themselves, the development
and conduct of learner assessment is a skill they have yet to gain. The plan to introduce assessment
activities will be challenging to implement for the volunteer educators, who will be hard-pressed
to come up with effective and appropriate assessment tools without the proper training.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Volunteer sustainability is low

32

Typically, the Kariton Klasrum teachinglearning period starts out with a high
number of volunteers offering their services,
but the numbers dwindle significantly by
the end of the period. Also, volunteers tend
to come and go during the course of the
kariton classroom period since there is no
required number of hours or contract to
bind them to the programme. Volunteers
cite a variety of reasons for their inconsistent
participation or for quitting the programme.
One such reason is the conflict of the
Kariton Klasrum schedule with their school
activities. Another issue for some volunteers
is the difficulty in keeping the flames of
passion alive.

SEAMEO INNOTECH

Lack of support from many parents


Despite the high number of out-of-school
children in the areas targeted by the

SEAMEO INNOTECH

programme, not many children register in the programme. One cause of this is that many parents
are reluctant to enlist their children in an activity that might compete with their childrens time
for work. There is also the possibility that some parents do not see much value in non-formal
educational activities. The lack of appreciation of parents may be due to the parents own lack of
education. There is a need to strengthen advocacy work in this area.

Lack of flexibility from some school principals


There have been a few instances that former kariton learners wishing to re-enter the formal system
were denied enrolment due to the absence of a birth certificate. If principals could be more
flexible and facilitative of the process, then learners would not have to endure difficulties that may
discourage them even more. This lack of flexibility may be linked to the lack of recognition of the
programme at the division or regional level.

Lack of monitoring and evaluation system


Until recently, one gap in the Kariton
Klasrum programmes operations was the
lack of a database that compiles information
and data regarding the learners, volunteers
and outcomes; and the lack of a mechanism
for the gathering of such data related to
the project. As a consequence of this gap
there are no records or of the number of
learners and volunteers that have been part
of initiative through the years which would
SEAMEO INNOTECH
have been useful information for estimating
future numbers of participants and ensuring each age group and learning level receives adequate
support. In addition, there is no system for tracking the graduates of the programme and where
they went after they completed the kariton period. The DTC is only aware of those who have joined
their other programs, LEAP and DOSE. This information would have been useful for identifying
any gaps in the content of the programme and how the programme could be improved so as to
ensure the best possible outcomes for students. The DTC has belatedly realized this gap, and thus
put a system in place at the start of the 201314 kariton period. The data collected from now on
will provide the DTC with have a more informed picture of the impact that the programme has
on the learners.

Communicating with DepEd has sometimes been quite a challenge for the DTC staff. Although the
two parties formalized their partnership through a Memorandum of Agreement there have been
some issues that remained unresolved. The difficulties were partly due to the fact that there is no
particular unit at the DepEd division level that is assigned to oversee the kariton programme. While
some DepEd staff have been assigned to the programme, these staff have busy schedules. A spate
of calamities in the latter half of 2013 has also been a hindering factor as it has kept the DSWD
busy and thus delayed the implementation of activities related to the Kariton Klasrum programme.

Lack of support from the local government


Although DTC has hoped for ongoing participation by the local government in the Kariton Klasrum
programme, to date this has, surprisingly, not been the case. There has been some occasional
support in the form of materials and the use of classrooms, but a more substantial and consistent

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Coordination problems with DepEd and DSWD

33

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

contribution has not been forthcoming. It has been surmised that education projects may not be
a top priority of the local government (R. Salonga, personal communication, 13 December2013).
Having new administrators at the helm as a result of the local elections has also been cited as a
factor for the inconsistent support. The quality of relationship between incumbent LGU officials
and DepEd division officials may also be a factor in the progress or the lack thereof of a
project or activity. If these two parties do not go along well, lesser assistance can be provided for
education-related projects.

34

Replication of the Kariton


Klasrum programme

Since catching the worlds attention, the Kariton Klasrum programme has gained increased
support at both the local and international levels. The benefits it has brought to the lives of street
children, out-of-school youth and school children who have dropped out of formal schools,
whose diminished access to education had, prior to their participation in the Kariton Klasrum
programme, presented further obstacles to the already-challenging EFA deadline of 2015, has
attracted various groups to replicate the programme. This has led to the expansion of the kariton
programme to cover places beyond the original site of Cavite City where it first began. In these
undertakings, the government, led by the DepEd, as well as non-governmental organizations
and private sector groups, including alumni associations, womens groups and business leaders
groups, have pledged their commitment and resources to bring the programme to a greater
number of underprivileged children.

5.1 The Department of Education and the K4


programme
The Department of Education has formally recognized the Kariton Klasrum as a very promising
ADM that can help to increase access to basic education. Thus, in August 2011, the DepEd, led
by its Secretary, Bro. Armin Luistro, signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the DTC enabling
the former to adopt the Kariton Klasrum model and expand the programme to other cities and
districts in the Philippines.

The obligations of the DTC include to: (1) conduct programme intervention using the ALS
curriculum and ADM modalities; 2) increase the capacity of the volunteers, teachers and facilitators;
3) participate in monitoring and evaluation exercises; 4) submit progress and other types of reports
to the DepEd as required; and 5) share best practices in the various interventions implemented
for replication.
The expanded K4 programme was initially implemented in four cities in the Metro Manila area:
Caloocan; Sta. Cruz, Manila; Pasig; and Quezon City. The DepEd team, composed of staff from the
Office of the Secretary and the three bureaus, namely, the Bureau of Elementary Education, the
Bureau of Secondary Education, and the Bureau on Alternative Learning Systems, held meetings
with the local city officials on which specific barangays the K4 Project would be launched in and
when the kariton classes would be held.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Under this agreement, the tasks of the DepEd include to: (1) acknowledge DTC as an organization
providing ALS, ADM and tutorial programme using its own curriculum, approved by the DepEd, as
well as DepEd-implemented curricula; (2) train DTC volunteer teachers and learning facilitators; (3)
provide initial sets of teaching-learning materials to the trained teachers and facilitators; (4) work
with the DTC on the ongoing review and enhancement of the existing DTC curriculum, modules
and instructional materials; (5) accept test registrants among learners of DTC in the acceleration
schemes provided by DepEd (e.g., A&E test); and (6) implement a massive advocacy campaign.

35

It was agreed that the classes would be held on Saturdays because many of the volunteer teachers
were regular school teachers who have classes on weekdays. They further agreed that the lessons
would last for two hours, as per the original classes. In keeping with the original programme, it
was agreed that food would be served through a kantin at the end of each class and that children
with illnesses or wounds would be treated through the klinik. The preparation of the pushcarts, to
be designed by the DepEd, would be taken on by the barangay local government units.
A basic curriculum, based on ALS and the Special Education curriculum was then developed
that primarily aims to teach the street children and other out-of-school youth important life
skills, including basic grooming and self-care. But it was decided that the main purpose of the
DepEd programme was to encourage the children to attend school. The first batch of the K4
Project Saturday classes lasted for six months and graduation ceremonies were conducted in
the participating cities.

5.2 The Department of Social Welfare and


Development and the K4 programme
The initial success of the DepEds expanded Kariton Klasrum programme in the four cities inspired
the Department of Social Welfare and Development to partner with the DepEd in strengthening its
implementation through the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) programme, an offshoot
of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which is considered as the governments flagship
poverty-alleviation programme, but which caters primarily to poor families that have permanent
residences.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Launched in 2012, the MCCT, like the 4Ps programme, aimed to provide cash transfers, education
and health assistance, to families and children. Unlike the 4Ps programme, the MCCT focuses
specifically on families and children who are in difficult situations or those who are in need of
special protection. It seeks to then mainstream these families later into the regular 4Ps programme.

36

The target beneficiaries of the MCCT programme include those living in poverty but who are not
covered by the 4Ps, such as homeless and street families, families that have been displaced as a result
of to human-induced and natural disasters, nomadic indigenous peoples, migrant families, families
of children with disabilities, families of child labourers, families in need of special protection and
those living in isolated and disadvantaged areas. Each homeless family is allowed to enrol up to three
children (aged 0 to 14) into the programme, and they receive an allowance of 300 pesos every month
per student. Another 500 pesos is given monthly to the family as a health grant. The beneficiaries are
also given health insurance memberships with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Besides
a monthly grant of up to PHP1,400, the families receive other forms of assistance, including housing
assistance and job opportunities for the improvement of their living conditions. Similar to the 4Ps, the
beneficiaries only receive the cash grants if they comply with certain requirements, as listed below:

Weekly

attendance at Family Development Sessions for the first two months and monthly
attendance in the succeeding months, and family counselling sessions, to enhance knowledge
about proper parenting roles, childrens rights, livelihood skills etc.

Attendance at alternative delivery mode classes or formal schools.


Periodic visits to health centres for check-ups, growth monitoring and vaccinations for children 05
years old; de-worming for 614 year-old children; and pre- and post-natal care for pregnant women.

Residence in a permanent home after six months of social preparation.

Initial impact evaluations conducted on the regular CCT programme have shown promising results,
with the key objectives being reached at an early stage of programme implementation (Chaudhury,
Friedman, Onishi, 2013; Chaudhury and Okamura, 2012). Results include an improvement in the
likelihood of children enrolling and attending school, better long-term nutritional status of young
children (636 months old); improved the health-seeking behaviour of poor women through
utilization of maternal and child health services; and better spending patterns of poor households
with regard to health and education needs. The impact of the recently-initiated MCCT programme
on the more vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society have yet to be documented.
The expanded kariton project being implemented by the DSWD and DepEd is viewed as an
opportunity to reach out-of-school children, street children and children in families who are
beneficiaries of the MCCT programme and to encourage them to enrol in ADM programmes that
would help them to return to school. The project also targets child beneficiaries of DSWD-accredited
residential facilities for street children. Its objectives are two-fold: educate street children and to
provide health services and shelter assistance to street families to help ensure their safety and
well-being.
As noted above, the DepEd had a Memorandum of Agreement with the DTC, but for the second phase
of the implementation of the K4, it prepared a Memorandum of Understanding with the DSWD, LGUs,
and civil society organizations. To date, however, this memorandum has not been signed by the DSWD.
Under the agreement between the DepEd and the DSWD, the DepEd would finance the training of
teachers, give service credits to volunteer teachers, coordinate with DSWD officials and cover the rent
for the venue of the second phase of the launch. The DSWD would help the parents and learners
through the CCT. Participating civil society organizations (agreed to provide volunteer teachers, while
barangay officials agreed to provide food, a venue and agreed to cover other related expenses.
To date, the DSWD is still in the process of finalizing the schedule and activities identified for
DSWD
implementation. Coordination work needed for the kariton programme to be fully integrated in
the MCCT programme was postponed due to several disasters that the Philippines experienced
in 2013 that the DSWD had to prioritize.

5.3 Local adaptations of the Kariton Klasrum


programme

5.3.1 Kariton for kids in Bacolod City


In Bacolod City, the capital of Negros Occidental Province in central Philippines, the Kariton Klasrum
programme found its own advocates. In 2012, the St. Scholastica High School Class of 1967 formed its
own version of the programme called Kariton for Kids (K4K). Inspired by the efforts of Efren Peaflorida
and the DTC, active members of the St. Scholastica High School Class of 1967 group pushed for the
local implementation of the programme to help children stay in school or return to school.
Key members of the group helped develop the curriculum and sample lesson plans, and
contributed materials, food and toys for the children. The support extended by many others proved
critical in getting the programme to move forward. A private tertiary school based in Bacolod

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The Kariton Klasrum programme has been taken up by various organizations and replicated, with
adaptations, in several cities in the Philippines. The K4 programme is being implemented in a city
in Negros Occidental Province and four cities in Metro Manila.

37

City, La Consolacion College, as represented


by its head of student affairs and of the
La Consolacion College National Service
Training Program, invited a whole class
of its education and training programme
students to serve as the initial volunteers
of the programme. The local parish priest
helped find a home for K4K and added his
catechists to the roster of volunteers. The
Bacolod Football Club donated the kariton
itself. This kariton, unlike the original karitons
used in Cavite, does not contain books,
materials or food. It is just a symbolic pushcart for the K4K.

SEAMEO INNOTECH

To raise funds for the project, the Saint Scholastica High School Class of 1967 held a concert,
the funds from which allowed them to bring several DTC members to Bacolod City to train the
volunteers on 23 November 2012. The next day, they began classes for 61 in- and out-of-school
children aged 5 to 17. Six months later, on 18 May 2013, they celebrated the close of their first K4K,
with Efren Peaflorida and Randie Salonga in attendance.
On 1 June 2013, the Saint Scholastica High School Class of 1967 invited the DepEd ALS Supervisor
and two DSWD street educators to speak in their town hall meeting. The purpose of the gathering
was to open the dialogue on education and their project with the parents and the purok (district)
heads, and to jumpstart registration for the second session, which opened on 22 June 2013. The
K4K programme aims to bring education to children who are less fortunate and to ensure students
not lose interest in school and drop out.

Profile of K4K learners

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The K4K model is different from the original


programme in that the K4K focuses on
in-school children who have difficulties
in formal school. Around 90 per cent of
these learners were also enrolled in formal
school. These children belong to the lowest
socio-economic level, and some children
are from street families with no home.
Many of the parents of these children have
no stable jobs. Therefore, these children are
in need of learning support, to keep them
in school.

38

SEAMEO INNOTECH

At the start of the first K4K session only 14 children were enrolled in the kariton class. Following
the involvement of the parish church, however, class attendance increased to 45 children.
In the second K4K session, there were 64 learners enrolled, being taught by six K4K teacher
volunteers and seven catechist volunteers.

Profile of the volunteer teachers


Most of the teachers are volunteers from La Consolacion College. The Dean of the Liberal Arts
faculty recruited around 50 per cent of these volunteer teachers. The volunteers are divided into

four groups corresponding to the childrens


age brackets. The age groups are as follows:
46 years old, 7 years old, 810 years old and
11 years old and above.
One volunteer teacher took on the
responsibility of teaching the K4K learners in
order to get teaching experience. She was
in her third year of Bachelor of Science in
Elementary Education.
SEAMEO INNOTECH

Volunteer teachers are given a travelling


allowance of PHP 20 to cover transport to
the venue. This allowance is given to the volunteers by La Consolacion College, which, in turn,
sources it from the implementers of this K4K project.
When asked how these teachers manage the Kariton for Kids classes and how they are able to
engage their learners to study, one of the volunteer teachers explained, Physical presence of the
teacher is important. I have to get the attention of my learners, who are already near their teenage
years. I want to exercise their minds, so I make use of different activities, like games, that will help
prevent boredom. I am not strict. I do not want them to be scared of me.

Classroom activities and assessment


Classes are held outside the parish church
every Saturday for a period around six months.
As with the original kariton programme in
Cavite, food is served to the learners and
volunteers after each class session.
A typical K4K class lasts around 1.5 hours
and the meal after class lasts for about 30
minutes. Class activities included review
of past lessons, motivation (storytelling),
activity, abstraction, assessment, application
(games, puzzle), evaluation (oral or written),
and occasional assignments or homework.

SEAMEO INNOTECH

The student and teachers of La Consolacion College were assisted by the catechist volunteers.
Teachers prepared their own lessons while the site head prepared the modules.
To determine what the children learned in the class sessions, teachers use written tests. The
teachers also hold academic contests at the end of the kariton period to help them assess what
the children learned. For these contests, the implementers give out prizes and food to the children.
A summative test is also conducted.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The main objective of the K4K classes is to reinforce the subjects that students learn in school,
including values and cleanliness, but the classes teach three main subjects: Catechism, language
(English and Filipino) and mathematics.

39

5.3.2 Novaliches City


In Novaliches, Quezon City, barangay officials
led the efforts in implementing another Kariton
Klasrum project. The programme had as many as
40 volunteers, including six teachers, parents and
barangay officials. After the training of the officials,
the barangay held its own training of volunteers.
The barangay also conducted a survey to identify
the ages and expected grade levels of out-of-school
youth and children who could potentially enlist in
the programme.
The classes for this Kariton Klasrum project began in
Petronia Street but were later moved to Doa Rosario
Elementary School. The first few weeks of the Saturday
classes were not held within the school premises
because it was felt that the children might not want
to go to a school setting. Donated tents were installed
instead at Petronia Street to serve as classrooms for
the K4 learners. According to the Records Head of
the project, the difficulties experienced by the parateachers and learners at the makeshift venue prompted
Brgy. Nova Proper
the barangay officials to look for alternatives. Eventually,
the principal of the elementary school volunteered her school as venue for the project, and this was
approved by the DepEd officials.
The classes had 45 learners who joined and completed the programme. The children were grouped
according to age brackets: 57 years old, 89 years old, 1012 years old and 1315 years old.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The classes were similar to the Cavite model, including serving of meals right after each class. The
barangay officials and volunteers serve complete meals including rice, and water to the learners,
including their siblings and parents.

40

The programme also involved weighing and


de-worming activities, in close coordination
with the local health centre. The organizers
of the programme also providedo a summer
educational field trip for the learners, to a
local eco-park. The costs of the meals and
transportation were shouldered by the
barangay captain and his wife.
On 2 June 2012, a recognition day was held
SEAMEO INNOTECH
for the 45 Kariton Klasrum learners who
finished the programme. Those who wanted
to return to formal school were then required
to take the Philippine Educational Placement Test to identify the grade level they belonged to.
Aside from the DepEd, DTC and the barangay, this particular K4 project was championed by
the Doa Rosario Elementary School, the Doa Rosario High School, and non-governmental
organizations like the Caritas Foundation and the Madrigal Foundation.

The site experienced challenges such as insufficient number of books for the learners, the
curriculum not being issued to all volunteer teachers, and inconsistent attendance of the learners,
many of whom were working to augment the family income.

5.3.3 Caloocan City


The Kariton Klasrum programme in Caloocan City implements the same strategy as the original
model in Cavite. It provides classes for street children and out-of-school youth, with the goal
of eventually integrating them into formal school. As per the original model, the Caloocan City
version also has a meal programme and a clinic.
The Division of Caloocan City launched this programme on 4 February 2012 in Bagong Barrio
Elementary School. After the launching, a three-day seminar was conducted to train the volunteer
teachers on the correct way of teaching street children. The seminar was facilitated by DepEd
and DTC representatives. On 18 February 2012, a barangay mapping activity was conducted to
determine the number of children who could benefit most from the programme.
The first gathering of the Kariton Klasrum learners took place on 3 March 2013 at Bagong Barrio
Elementary School. During kariton classes, lessons were provided to street children by street
educators and volunteers through the use of Montessori materials. The curriculum covers a range
of subjects, including values formation, basic literacy, numeracy and life skills.
A major challenge that the site experienced was the difficulties of the volunteers in managing their
time, which led to their inability to provide classes consistently. Thus only a few kariton sessions
took place. The DepEd, in their 2013 monitoring report, found that only two sessions had been
conducted since the programme was launched.
Despite the problems encountered, 29 Kariton Klasrum learners were reported to have later
enrolled in Bagong Barrio Elementary School as returning students. A total of 16 of them are
still enrolled in the K4 programme for tutorial and remedial classes. A further six Kariton Klasrum
learners transferred to ALS Secondary.

5.3.4 Pasig City

Starting in January 2012, the programme in Pasig City was able to serve 12 street children in two
sites, namely, Ramos Village and Barangay Catleya. The children were divided into the following
age groups: 57 years old, 89 years old and 1012 years old. Around 38 volunteers including
teachers, parents, students and the barangay council, including the captain, were involved in this
project. The curriculum that was used covers values education, numeracy and literacy.
According to the 2013 DepEd monitoring report, the Pasig site has had only one kariton session
since its soft launch. The programme was beset by issues such as minimal barangay support,
unavailability of supplies and materials for the children, a lack of funds, the volunteer teachers
conflicting schedules, lukewarm response from the parents, insufficient medical supplies, a lack
of permanent volunteers and the absence of a permanent venue.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The vision of the Kariton Klasrum programme in Pasig City is to have children with the ability to
live in a caring community, who are able to go back to school, and who have enough ability to
fulfil their dreams for the future. Foremost among the programmes mission is to bring back the
children to formal school. To help in the preparations for the programme, volunteers visited the
original Kariton Klasrum site in Cavite in order to see the actual operations.

41

5.3.5 Sta. Ana, Manila


In partnership with the DepEd and Dynamic Teen Company, the Division of City Schools of Manila
adopted, in March 2012, the Kariton Klasrum learning modality as a strategy to broaden access to
basic education among the street children in Sta. Ana, Manila. It envisioned the programme as a
means to provide alternative education for the children, to help them gain basic literacy skills, and
to bring them back into formal school to complete their basic education.
An orientation training was conducted for barangay volunteers before classes started. At the
outset, the street children were given school supplies, shoes and bags. The DepEd central office
assisted by donating one kariton to the barangay. The barangay also coordinated with the health
centre and the Department of Health in the de-worming of the children and in the provision
of medicine for leptospirosis, respectively. A medical mission was also conducted, involving
immunization for the children. In a similar way to other kariton programmes, snacks were served
to the children after each class. As a result of the programme, 14 out of the 25 enrolled learners
were enrolled in formal school.
This programme in Sta. Ana encountered multiple challenges that hindered its implementation,
such as donated textbooks not being suited to the childrens levels, unfulfilled promises, failure of
the volunteer teachers to continue their efforts, a lack of financial support for the various activities
and a lack of regular monitoring. The 2013 DepEd monitoring report stated that the Sta. Ana
Kariton Klasrum programme has been temporarily suspended due to the unavailability of the
ALS teachers.

5.4 Kariton Klasrum internationally


Groups outside the Philippines have been inspired by the Kariton Klasrum initiative and two
organizations have adopted this alternative system in their countries.

5.4.1 Indonesia

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

On 1 July 2013, in one of the underprivileged communities in Klendar, East Jakarta, the non-profit
organization Yayasan Wadah Titian Harapan (Wadah), launched a programme called Gerobak Pintar
(Smart Cart) which is modelled on the DTCs Kariton Klasrum programme. Wadah, a Jakarta-based
foundation that was founded to help mothers create a better future for their families and their
communities, sought the help of DTC in implementing the programme. Since Indonesia and the
Philippines share similar problems regarding poverty and education, the Indonesian programme
hopes to make the same positive impact that has been made in the lives of Filipino children.

42

Wadah Foundation

Wadah Foundation

The Gerobak Pintar programme was initiated by Wadahs founder, Ibu Anie Hashim Djojohadikusumo,
to help address the literacy needs of urban poor children who do not have the resources and
opportunity to go to school. It is expected that the programme will help increase awareness in the
local communities about the importance of education for their childrens future. In preparing for
the project rollout in Jakarta, the DTC conducted visits in Jakarta, while volunteers from Indonesia
also went to Manila to be trained by the DTC team.
Gerobak Pintar provides services in four areas, namely: education, health, food supplements, and
life skills training for parents. Since Wadah is a womens organization that advocates for womens
rights and welfare, the last component was added in order to educate mothers on livelihoods and
child-rearing.
The programme will be operated and facilitated by Wadah activists and volunteers for three
months, after which it will be turned over to the communities. The communities will continue to
be supervised by Wadah, and support will also come from the donors, including the Rotary Club
of South Jakarta.

Wadah Foundation

Wadah Foundation

5.4.2 Kenya
Launched on 28 September 2013 at Farasi Primary School in Nairobi, the Kenyan pushcart
classroom project is the second international replication of the Kariton Klasrum programme.

The Young Presidents Organization built a pushcart for the Kenyan programme. As in the original
kariton programme, the pushcart contains books and learning materials. Following the launch of
the programme, the equipped pushcart was turned over to the head of Farasi Primary School. To
date, there are no details available about the progress of the Kenyan programme.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

A network of business leaderswho are members of the Young Presidents Organization, Nairobi
Chapter, and Efren Peaflorida of DTC, serving as the guest speaker, launched the project. During
the launch, Efren shared his story and spoke about how the pushcart classroom programme
operates in the Philippines.

43

Dynamic Teen Company

Dynamic Teen Company

Dynamic Teen Company

Dynamic Teen Company

Conclusion
The local and international adaptations have established programmes that are true to the vision
of the original Kariton Klasrum initiatives. These programmes have a common goal of providing
education to poor children and out-of-school children and youth with the aim of encouraging
them to stay in school or return to school.
The main elements of the K4, namely, the classroom, canteen and clinic, are present in some form
or another, in all of the local replications of the programme. There are notable variations in the way
these elements are implemented, however. Also, the duration of the kariton teaching period varies
across the sites, because of the variation in financial and human resources available.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Bacolod Citys K4K has made key changes to the original model. For instance, the use for the
pushcart was merely symbolic. Furthermore, the focus of the curriculum is on catechism and
academic subjects, rather than on life skills. The K4K classes are dominated by in-school children
who need learning assistance in order to stay in school. In this sense, the K4K is akin to a drop-out
reduction programme.

44

Adaptations of the Kariton Klasrum initiative had also added the requirement of formative and
summative tests. And some adaptations have added additional services. For example, the Bacolod
site also provides livelihood training sessions for parents while their children are in class.
In general, however, the sites implement programmes that are similar in key ways. These
similarities include:

The role of the DTC in the training of the organizers and volunteers.
The classification of children in all the replication sites is based on age (although DTC has already
changed their classification to be based on literacy level).

Each site conducts community mapping prior to the start of the classes to identify the children
who may benefit most from the programme.

Each site relies on volunteers, who do not receive any compensation for their services. But they get
to enjoy incentives during the course of their service, such as trainings, transportation allowances
and snacks.

Among the more successful adaptations, two factors emerge as vital to their success. One is
the core of volunteers whose dedication to service has allowed the programme to continue
and thrive. Second is the commitment and support of other stakeholders, including the DepEd,
the DTC, local governments, academe, the church, parents and other government agencies and
non-governmental organizations. The assistance they provide in the form of capacity-building,
funds, food, materials, venue and others have sustained the programmes beyond the launching.
In successful sites, the impact of the programme has been seen immediately, with teachers and
parents reporting an improvement in the attitudes and performance of the children.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The sites that have been relatively unsuccessful have experienced several main challenges
including a lack of committed volunteers to provide consistent services, a lack of funds and a lack
of appropriate teaching-learning materials.

45

The case of a former Kariton


learner

A boy saunters in from outside the principals office. Sporting an impish smile and twinkling eyes,
he has the typical look of a boy his age. Caster is an 11-year-old, fun-loving and carefree boy from
Cavite City. He is currently in Grade 6, a student at the Manuel Rojas Elementary School. He is the
oldest of four siblings. His mother is a housewife while his father works as a soldier at the naval
base in Sangley Point, Cavite. He dreams of becoming a soldier one day, just like his father. That
dream was jeopardized, however, when Caster, at ten years old, dropped out of school.
He was in Grade 4 when his difficulties in going to school began to mount. He could not get up
early for his classes at Manuel Rojas. He often missed his morning class and was able to attend
only the afternoon sessions. Many times, he would be late and would not end up going to class.
His considerable number of absences was unacceptable to the school, and the boy eventually
dropped out. With nothing to do at home but watch television, play and roam outside, he soon
got bored. He then heard about the Kariton Klasrum programme from his neighbours. He wanted
to be part of it, and asked his parents to register him. His parents agreed. It was clear though that
this was Casters decision. When asked why he decided to do so, he said that he wanted to learn.
He also had a few friends who had registered. It seemed to be fun. And he had nothing to do
anyway.
The DTC volunteers went to Casters house to verify with the parents Casters decision to register.
The only thing they requested was the childs birth certificate. Caster thus found himself attending
the kariton programme. That was the start of his Kariton Klasrum experience, an experience that
ended with his graduation from the programme, but whose impact is continuing to be felt
beyond.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Casters Kariton Klasrum experience

46

Kalye Marino, where Caster and his family


live, was one of the chosen sites for the
DTCs kariton classes. These classes were
held in front of the basketball court, a
stones throw from Casters house. Every
Saturday, for six months, Caster went to the
basketball court, along with the other kids in
their neighbourhood, to attend the classes.
A kariton class would start sometime in the
afternoon, and would last around two hours.
SEAMEO INNOTECH
For Caster, the class was fun and allowed him
to draw, write, read and sing. The best parts
for Caster were the writing and the play activities. These are what he enjoyed the most about the
programme. He enjoyed the free food as well, and was able to bring some of this food home to
share with his younger siblings.

Caster does not remember much about what was taught in class. He did recall learning about the
go, grow, glow food. He also remembered learning to be polite and to say the words po and
opo. He does not remember if he learned mathematics under the kariton programme.
When he finished the programme six months later, he received a certificate for being second in class.
When Kariton Klasrum ended, Caster decided he would go back to Manuel Rojas school to continue
his studies. His interest in learning had been reignited while he was a Kariton Klasrum learner.
Before school at Manuel Rojas started, Caster received school supplies from DTC in a ceremony that
marked the end of the Kariton Klasrum period. As Casters mother gratefully noted, these school
supplies were one of the most significant material benefits Caster received from the programme.
She also observed that after participating in the programme her son did not go out on the streets
as much as before. He was also seen drawing and writing more and was eating better. It was no
longer difficult for him to wake up early in the morning to go to school, his mother observed. He
also had become more polite in his dealings with others. It was significant, she felt, that it was
Casters decision to go back to school.

At formal school
Back at formal school, Caster is considered by his class adviser to be like any other regular schoolboy
his age. According to the adviser, Caster loves to play and engages in play every opportunity he
gets. He is friendly and always has a ready smile on his face. He sometimes lacks focus and is often
caught in class chatting to his seatmates Caster sometimes participates in class, especially when it
involves stories that interest him. Although he talks to classmates during class, once his attention
is re-called, he immediately re-focuses on the teacher. He is easily influenced by friends though,
especially when it involves playing. Just like any other child, he needs guidance. When he gets
carried away doing something that is not appropriate at that moment, he needs to be called
out and reminded to refocus, to study and to listen. But he is not really much different from any
average boy, according to his teacher..

Caster was perceived to sometimes lack focus. His teacher therefore seated him in the front row
in class, so that his attention can be more easily gained. It is because of this lack of focus that
Caster expresses having difficulties with his academic work. He noted, however, that when he
tries his best to focus, he gets the work done. But he needs to be reminded and guided often, a
responsibility the teacher admits is not an easy one for someone handling 40 or so students in a
class.
The teacher noted that the good thing about the boy is that his attention can be re-called easily,
and the boy immediately responds in a positive manner to the numerous reminders that he gets.
Furthermore, he is not a rude child. He knows how to be respectful. From the teachers vantage
point, Caster is not much different from the others. While Caster may have some areas he definitely
needs to work on, the foundation is solid enough for what he learns to take root.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Caster once admitted to his teacher that he used to be frequently absent when he was younger
but has changed since then. He proudly shared that he had not been absent in once in the first
few months of the school year, a direct contrast to his past attendance. The teacher, however,
noted that Caster began being absent from class later in the school year, which she attributed to
the break in momentum that the rainy seasons frequent suspension of classes brought. According
to Caster those absences were due to either family activities or to sickness.

47

Caster noted that there are some key differences between his Kariton Klasrum experience and
his formal school one. In the kariton programme, he noted, there are no assignments or tests and
there is plenty of play. In Manuel Rojas school, the opposite is true. Quite unexpectedly, Caster
did express his liking for assignments, however, because it made him stay home at night instead
of going out to play.

Conclusion

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The kariton programme has helped Caster by bringing back the boys interest in learning. This
is significant, as it indicates that a key factor missing in formal education, which the kariton
programme recognizes as being important, is the joy of learning. Even though Caster did not
recall exactly what he had learned, he had been able to learn the required skills, as evidenced by
his certificate for being second in class. And he was able to learn the required skills through play, a
mode of learning that suits Casters learning style. The absence of this type of learning from formal
education system makes learning difficult for children like Caster, and thus puts these children at
risk of dropping out of school.

48

Conclusions and
recommendations

Kariton learner
A major part of what the Philippines committed to in Dakar in 2000 was reaching the marginalized
and the underserved. Achieving the Education for All goals means that the needs and circumstances
of the poorest, the most vulnerable and the most neglected of our children and youth have to
be urgently attended to and addressed. Many groups remain on the fringes of society and their
presence signals societys failure to address the structural disparities and the inequalities based on
gender, wealth, ethnicity, disability, language and many other factors, that allow for these social
exclusions to happen.
Mindful of this reality, the Philippines continues to work on its targets in literacy and education
based on its commitment to the World Declaration on Education for All. While there is sober
recognition that the country will likely fail to make the grade in several areas come 2015, the
country continues to be steadfast in its efforts to inch closer towards the EFA goals. The Kariton
Klasrum constitutes one such effort.
The Kariton Klasrum is an innovative initiative that recognizes the need for new approaches that are
tailor-made for vulnerable groups such as street children and out-of-school youth. It puts premium
on the idea that in order for the country to fast track its progress towards EFA, it is no longer sufficient
to use the conventional system in addressing the educational needs of the marginalized children in
disadvantaged settings. It underscores the reality that government alone cannot do the job and that
given the enormity of the EFA challenge, the non-governmental sector and non-school systems play
a critical role.
The following points summarize the findings of this case study about the K4 programme, which
was founded and initially implemented by the Dynamic Teen Company:

The K4 programme originally focused on street children, but included all out-of-school children

The K4 brings the classroom to the communities where the children live or converge. It provides

the learning materials and environment for them (kariton klasrum), and offers food (kantin) and
first aid services (klinik) as well. It puts in place a system that does not place any financial burden
on the learners and that tries to be responsive to the learners needs and realities. It is a system
that improves access and affordability of education for previously excluded children. Moreover,
it upholds the childrens right to education as well as the childrens rights to health and nutrition.

The Kariton Klasrum volunteer educators are provided with training that equips them to teach
more effectively in a non-classroom setting with disadvantaged children who have limited or no
experience of formal school. They are given orientations about the situation of the children who

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

and youth. The focus on these children who are not attending school, because they are working
to augment family income and scavenging in the dumps, is noteworthy in light of the limited
opportunities that are available to this group of children.

49

will be put under their charge. It is important for these volunteers to have a deep understanding
of the plight of these children to have a better understanding of their needs and address these
more effectively. Volunteers tasked with the other aspects of the programme are likewise
provided training sessions to help them with their tasks. These investments in volunteer training
are essential in providing good quality education.

The K4 curriculum that the DTC initially developed was life skills-based, as does the ALS curriculum

of the Department of Education. By using a curriculum that aims to develop knowledge


and competencies necessary for the effective participation in solving real-life problems and
in functioning effectively in society (BALS, n.d.), the children are exposed to a more relevant
education that increases their chances of becoming functionally literate, becoming lifelong
learners and returning successfully to formal school.

The community mapping conducted prior to the start of each Kariton period is a good practice
that needs to be continued. This activity proactively seeks out children and youth that would
benefit most from the programme.

Although the data provided by the DTC on the number and gender of learners, it appears that there is
a higher number of male learners among kariton learners. This reflects the observed gender disparity
in Philippine education where more females than males tend to persist in the formal education
system. More males are found among the drop-outs and among the street children (Lamberte, 2002).
This gender disparity has been attributed to several factors, among which are the parents low
academic expectation for boys and the tendency of poor families to pull out the boys from school
and involve them in work that would augment the family income (UNICEF, 2012).

Volunteers are at the core of the Kariton Klasrum programme. Without volunteers, the programme

would not have become viable or sustainable. There is some evidence to suggest, based on the
limited data available on kariton volunteers, that the majority of the volunteers are teenagers who
are studying in high school and college. This seems to be the age group that is most attracted or
most available to volunteer in such a set-up. The strong idealism that typically characterizes the
adolescents may be at play here. Based on the interviews conducted, the motives for entering the
volunteer service are the need for satisfaction, achievement, and meaningfulness; the need for
self-improvement; the positive experiences from involvement in a related activity or programme;
and the referral of peers or teachers. These are similar to the motives cited in a broader study on
volunteerism among Filipinos (Aguiling-Dalisay, et al, 2004).

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

The study by Aguiling-Dalisay and colleagues (2004) indicates that the reasons for staying in volunteer

50

service tend to be instrinsic in nature, such as a strong altruistic motive (e.g. desire to be of service to
others, commitment to the cause) or motives related to self (e.g. sense of satisfaction and achievement
derived from continued service; sense of purpose and personal meaning). The experience of the DTCs
Kariton Klasrum in Cavite, while not immune to volunteer attrition, may be instructive in that their
core of committed volunteers has remained fairly stable. This core of volunteers has confirmed during
the interviews that these intrinsic motives are the ones that sustain their interest to volunteer. The
opportunities for self-improvement that volunteering has provided them are some of the things they
are grateful for as well. These come by way of formal skills trainings, mentoring sessions and interactions
with different types of people. In addition, organizational support and organizational policies that
promote a positive and healthy work environment tend to sustain the volunteers. Dissatisfaction with
the practices and systems within the organization may prompt volunteers to discontinue.

The issue of volunteer sustainability is a major challenge that has been raised at the original Cavite

site and at the replication sites. It seems an accepted reality that not all volunteers who start out
will end up completing the service or will consistently show up during the classes. It is necessary

to find a solution to this issue, however, because a very high rate of attrition among the volunteers
compromises the effectiveness of the programme. This may have been a key issue beleaguering
the less successful replication sites. Organizations that largely depend on volunteers may have to
re-examine their policies and practices that tend to push volunteers away from the service.

The participation of partners and other stakeholders is critical to the success and sustainability of

the programme. These stakeholders include local government units, other government agencies,
non-governmental organizations, academe, corporate groups and foundations and parents. The
Cavite site, while having some minor issues with LGU support, continues to enjoy broad support from
many sectors. Other replication sites would do well to look for more partners who can champion the
programme.

The

involvement of the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and
Development has shown the governments commitment to deliver alternative learning systems and
non-formal education to disadvantaged children. The current Secretary of the DepEd, Bro. Armin
Luistro, had expressed his wish for a Kariton Klasrum programme in every division (R. Salonga, personal
communication, December 13, 2013). The support of the government in expanding the K4 programme,
as well as integrating it in the countrys flagship poverty reduction programme, offers the promise of
giving significantly greater numbers of poor and disadvantaged children access to education.

The inclusion of the Kariton Klasrum in the DSWDs MCCT programme promises to be a significant

boost towards achieving the EFA goals. Social protection measures such as the conditional cash
transfer as implemented in the Philippines have been shown to increase school enrolment among
younger children (311 years old) and to improve school attendance among 617 year olds of the
poor families targeted in the 4Ps programme (World Bank, 2013). Once the Kariton Klasrum becomes
fully integrated into the MCCT programme, larger numbers of children will have the opportunity to
benefit from this alternative mode of education and returning eventually to formal schooling.

Recommendations
Analysis of the findings of the case study has resulted in a number of recommendations on how
the Kariton Klasrum model might be strengthened as listed below.
developed by the Department of Education may be a good starting point because it is also
life-skills-based and has benefited much from the knowledge and expertise of the specialists
at DepEd. This curriculum could be further adapted to specifically suit the time-frame and
beneficiaries being targeted by Kariton Klasrum, i.e. street children and out-of-school children
and youth. Corollary to this, a standardized set of learning materials appropriate to the needs and
realities of the children being served, may also be worth developing. It should be ensured that the
content and images of these materials are free from gender stereotypes so as not to, among other
things, perpetuate or worsen the gender disparity in Philippine education.

Develop appropriate classroom-based and performance-based assessment tools. It has already

been acknowledged that assessment need not be shunned in the Kariton Klasrum programme
for it is important for children to be exposed to assessment methods so that they are prepared
for them when they return to formal school. The experts at DepEd may be enlisted to assist in the
development of assessment tools.

The sustainability of volunteering depends to a large extent on the ability of the organization
to accord volunteers due respect and provide them with the capacity to realize their desire to

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

Standardize the curriculum being used across all the local sites. The existing ALS curriculum

51

serve. It is therefore recommended to strengthen the organizational support being provided


to the Kariton Klasrum volunteers, to strengthen their resolve to stay and continue their
service. For instance, provide materials that they can use for visual aids, instead of relying
on the volunteers initiative or resources to come up with such. Moreover, ensure that the
conditions within the organization (e.g. policies and activities) create a nurturing and positive
environment for the volunteers.

Since the Kariton Klasrum relies heavily on volunteers, its volunteer programme may have to be
further reviewed and professionalized. The volunteer head within DTC, as well as in the other
replication sites, has to be adequately trained to harness both the people and technical skills of
the volunteers. Furthermore, a comprehensive training programme for the volunteers needs to
be put in place. While there are already existing trainings and mentoring sessions being provided
to the kariton volunteers, a more professional training programme, attuned to the needs of both
the volunteers and learners, has to be developed.

Advocacy to enlist parents and communities support needs to be strengthened. Since some

parents tend to discourage their childrens involvement in the kariton programme, a parents
orientation at the outset may increase their understanding of the programme and help reduce
their resistance. Livelihood sessions for parents, as practiced at the Bacolod site, could also increase
the parents acceptance of the programme.

While the kariton programme is to be commended for bringing the classroom closer to its

target beneficiaries, the harsh environment of the streets may also compromise the quality of
education being provided. The heat, rain, noise and pollution may influence the capacity of
the children to absorb and learn. It is recommended that providers of the kariton programme
consider looking for areas or venues that are accessible to the children but are more protected
from the elements.

The

government needs to integrate initiatives by non-governmental organizations, such as


the Kariton Klasrum into national planning, while monitoring the quality of the education they
provide. The DepEd needs to intensify its efforts in the replication and monitoring of the kariton
model in the different divisions, as envisioned by its Secretary. The DSWD needs to put more
urgency in the full integration of the kariton programme into MCCT implementation.

To be truly rights-based, the kariton system is challenged to consider childrens participation in

the different aspects of the programme such as planning and the development of curriculum or
learning materials. Participation particularly resonates with these children who possess the most
knowledge about the factors that keep them away from school and help them to survive on
the street or dump. There should be increased efforts to listen to them and to encourage their
participation in the design, implementation and evaluation of the programme.

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

As is now being done by the DTC in the Cavite site, it is recommended that providers of the

52

kariton system categorize the learners according to level of literacy instead of age. This recognizes
the possibility that the differences in the literacy level among learners within an age bracket
might impede the efficiency of learning. The existing Functional Literacy Test of the DepEd may
be used for this purpose in order to maximize the resources and mechanisms that are already in
place.

Develop

an effective monitoring and evaluation system for the K4 programme by creating


an enabling environment that would support such a system, and building the capacity and
infrastructure that would supply information. For one, this means that a credible and systematic
data and information-gathering system needs to be established. In line with this, a database

The Philippines: Kariton Klasrum

of learners, volunteers, and partners, which would contain basic personal and demographic
information about them, has to be created. It is recommended that these data be disaggregated
according to sex, age, literacy level, number of siblings, whether working or not, whether staying
with parents or not and other relevant variables. Providers of the programme will need to train
staff to gather and analyze the data. Once an M&E system has been put in place founded on
the principles of transparency, objectivity, and accountability there should be an assessment of
the kariton programme in terms of its impact on achieving the overall Philippine EFA goals 2015,
particularly on Goal 1.

53

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55

UNESCO Bangkok Office


Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building
920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Klongtoey
Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Email: appeal.bgk@unesco.org
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Tel: +66-2-3910577 Fax: +66-2-3910866