Multi-Grade Mobile Teaching Program
The Mobile Teaching Program (MTP) was conceived to address basic education needs for the province with one of the lowest literacy rates in the country. As the former governor has noted himself as a school teacher for so many years. “In the Cordillera, building schools will not solve the drop-out problem. Communities are too far apart. The teachers just have to go where the pupils are.” In fact, 12 Ifugao mountains have heights ranging from 925 to 2,523 meters above sea level. Communities are situated several kilometers apart from each other and students have to hike for hours along rocky trails, dangerous slopes and even cross wide rivers. An empty stomach and the grueling fatigue force more than half of the student population to drop out of school long before they can even complete their elementary education.
A component of the UNICEF-assisted Ifugao Child Survival and Women Development Program under the Office of the Governor, the aim is to provide access to learning with emphasis on the 3 R's to children ages 6-12 unable to attend regular schooling due to distance and poverty. Mobile teachers organize multi-grade classes from Grades 1 to 6 in adjacent communities. Classes are held in the house of any volunteer, a native hut or any other structure like the chapel or the barangay hall. Students meet three times a week and are required to finish assigned modules until the teacher comes back the week after. To date, the program has been replicated in four CAR provinces namely Abra, Benguet, Kalinga-Apayao and Mt. Province. Due to the strong commitment of the mobile teachers, the majority of the MTP students had been admitted to regular schools and had completed elementary education. Literacy rate improved from 78% in 1988 to 86.1 % in 1993. A number of multi-grade centers have likewise been converted to regular elementary schools. In addition, a growing number of adults are sitting-in to learn how to read and to perform basic mathematical skills.
This program is recognized as a Trailblazing Program, a finalist for the 1999 Galing Pook Awards.