Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Asia Foundation donates books to Lanao del Sur

MARAWI CITY, Philippines – Some 35,000 brand new books were distributed Sunday to 740 public elementary and high schools across Lanao Del Sur province in an effort to expand and improve access to educational materials.

Lanao Del Sur Provincial Library benefited from the donation of books which is made possible by The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program and distributed in Mindanao through the Foundation’s Transparent Accountable Governance project, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr., officials of the provincial government, and staff of the Department of Education attended the handover ceremony.

Officials from USAID and from The Asia Foundation, including Ky Johnson, Deputy Country Representative and Efren Balajadia, Director of the Books for Asia program, presented the books to representatives of the 740 elementary and secondary schools at the event.

“We are working in solidarity with local leaders and citizens to distribute books to all communities, but especially in Mindanao, so that all scholars - rich and poor,Muslims and Christians - have access to reading materials and information,” said Johnson. “Through this donation, the people of Lanao Del Sur will have access to educational resources that will enhance their knowledge and skills in order to promote literacy in every community.”

USAID also supported the book distribution in Lanao Del Sur in response to the need for educational materials in Mindanao. Books for Asia provides a full range of books to public school students with different levels of learning.

The provision of books and other educational resources demonstrates commitment in the campaign to improving education in communities in the southern part of the Philippines.

Johnson noted the Foundation’s support to local communities in Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines to improve the quality of education dates back to the 1950s.

“With the cooperation of local governments and private partners, we can help each community bring educational materials to deserving students throughout southern Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines,” he said.

The Asia Foundation acknowledges the important support of public and private partners in this endeavor, especially the Provincial Government of Lanao Del Sur for encouraging activities that promote education and literacy American publishers like The McGraw-Hill Companies, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Pearson Education for their donation of new books, as well as USAID for generously supporting Books for Asia’s efforts to foster education throughout Mindanao.

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