NEWTON, MA | November 12, 2009
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met today with students and teachers in a suburb of Manila, cutting the ribbon that opened an innovative book fair developed by the U.S.-based Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC). During the event at the Malanday National High School in Marikina City, Secretary Clinton announced an additional $5.2 million in disaster relief for the Philippines, and praised the book fair as a way to help schools recover from the severe flooding and damage caused by October’s Typhoon Ondoy.
“I want to tell you that the people of the United States are very sorry for the losses that you have experienced,” said Secretary Clinton. “And we very much are your friends and partners and want to help you recover from these devastating storms and flood. And so today I am very honored to be here with all of you as part of American-Filipino partnership,” she said.
EDC’s Education Quality and Access to Learning and Livelihood Skills Project (EQUALLS2) devised the book fair, which allows teachers to use pre-paid vouchers to choose the books they and their students need most, increasing the likelihood of high-impact, creative teaching and learning in the classroom.
During her visit, Secretary Clinton joined 66 teachers and 2,000 youth who used their vouchers to select from the 50,000 English, science, and math books made available during the marketplace event and take them back to their school classrooms.
“Our book shopping events are terrific ways to generate attention and excitement over learning materials,” said EDC’s Yvette Tan, a materials and technology specialist based in the Philippines, who led today’s event. “It’s all about getting the books into the hands of learners and educators and ensuring they are used to their potential.”
Secretary Clinton was joined by Marcial Salvatierra, EDC’s Chief of Party in the Philippines; Department of Education Secretary Jesli Lapus; and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney, an avid supporter of the book fair events, several of which have been held for hundreds of schools in the war-torn region of Muslim Mindanao.
The new, high-quality books and learning materials from U.S. publishers are donated by the U.S.-based Brother’s Brother Foundation, through a public-private alliance, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. With this partnership, EDC will place 1.8 million books into the hands of children and teachers in Mindanao by 2011.