ACHIEVE: Accessible, Holistic and Inclusive Education
Considering that children are its most important constituents, the Navotas City Government launched the ACcessible, Holistic and InclusiVe Education (ACHIEVE) Program which pursued the city's thrust of inclusive growth by providing all children with good and quality education. Encouraged by the city’s mantra “Kasama Lahat ng Bata sa NavoTaas,” the program endeavored to have children in good health and with proper education to fully become partners of the city in progress and development. Under the program, various early childhood education and health initiatives were implemented.
One of the program's innovative initiatives was the Kindergarten on Wheels (KOW) which utilized four mobile trucks to barangays in providing children from disadvantaged families easy access to kindergarten education. KOW teachers use a six-month curriculum and an eight-week summer catch-up plan to prepare children to enter elementary school.The KOW had helped 1,546 children to complete kindergarten. From 131 in 2015, the number of pre-school graduates rose to 777 in 2017. It also received a special citation from the Department of Education (DepEd) in 2016 as one of the K-12 Special Programs (Best Practices).
The city government also expanded its Alternative Learning System (ALS) through Project GEM (Gabay Edukasyon sa mga Mag-aaral wala sa Paaralan) which engages community members to help out-of-school youth in completing their basic education. The Navotas City Youth and Kids Ministry (YKM) was also established to develop life skills of the youth. The number of students who were provided with financial and mentoring support under Project GEM increased from 236 in 2016 to 413 in 2017 and 621 in 2018.
In addition, the School Governing Councils (SGCs) in every school were enhanced to help the city government and the DepEd in preparing school improvement plans, raising resources to finance the plans, and formulating policies to improve children’s welfare. As a result, there was an improved performance rating of the SGCs from 1.0 in 2014 to 4.0 in 2017 based on a 5-point assessment scale. This means that school councils composed of parents, barangays, and NGOs are actively supporting schools and their children with programs that help them stay in school and learn better. There was also a significant decrease in the dropout rate of secondary students from 7.28% in SY 2011-2012 to 0.41% in SY 2015-2016. The city also saw a graduation rate of 98.62% in 2016 from 94.26% in 2011.
To enhance the bond among students, parents, teachers and LGU officials, the city government introduced Pamilyang Navoteño Family Day (FUNtastic Family Day) which is held annually in all daycares to high schools in the city. Various fun-filled activities are undertaken to foster camaraderie and create meaningful relations among participants.
Recognizing that healthy children learn better, health initiatives were conducted to complement the city’s inclusive education program. Among the initiatives was the First 1,000 Days which is a series of seminars for expecting parents on the importance of nutrition and early literacy. In connection with this, a Micronutrient Supplementation Program was launched to provide pregnant women with much-needed vitamins and supplements. Furthermore, a city-wide supplemental feeding program was launched in all 14 barangays in the city that targets preschool children. It is conducted for three months, five times a week, with the support of mothers and volunteers from the barangays. This led to the significant decrease of the rate of undernutrition among 0-71-month-old children from 3.4% in 2013 to 1.6% in 2017. The ratio of severely underweight children progressively declined from 6.5% in 2014 to 4.9% in 2017.