The program was supported by the city government, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Department of Education (DepEd).
Cotabato Project Management Unit coordinator Ramon Bobier said the program aims to give the pre-school children basic competencies in reading, writing and arithmetic before they will be admitted in grade one.
“Our target clients are pre-schoolers coming from the poor family. We make sure that children ages 5-7 years old in Kidapawan that served as our pilot area will be given basic education through this program,” Bobier said.
“We are also planning to expand the program in other towns in North Cotabato. That is why we also trained the barangay day care workers so that they will continue the program in their respective villages,” he added.
The summer ECE program is considered as a “pet project” of City Councilor Joseph Evangelista, chair of the Committee on Education of the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Evangelista lobbied for the funding of the program in 2001. But it was only implemented in 2006 due to the delayed submission of the project proposal and budgetary constraints.
“Despite the delay of the program implementation we were able to convince the BEAM coordinator to finance the ECE program. We are happy also that Kidapawan City became the pilot area of the program,” he said.
The city councilor urged the barangay day care workers that also finished the basic curriculum under the BEAM program to share their expertise to the poor children and even to the out-of-school youth in their areas.
“I am appealing to our BDCW in 40 villages of our city to implement the program to ready our pre-schoolers in their elementary years,” he said.
North Cotabato and Kidapawan City Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Gloria Mudanza said the BEAM program is a big help in improving literacy rates especially for the pre-schooler beneficiaries.
Mudanza is also supporting the expansion of the BEAM program in other towns of North Cotabato.