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ASEAN Journal of Community Engagement

Abstract

This paper is aimed at presenting an implemented community engagementof the University of San Carlos School of Education with the communities ofAgusan del Sur, Philipines, in closepartnership with the Justice Peace andIntegrity of Creation-IDC, (JPIC-IDC) Incorporated of Agusan del Sur as aresponse to a felt need in the early childhood education program of theprovince. In 2004, JPIC pooled together concerted resources from provincial andlocal government units, non-government organization and academe to create anddevelop a culture-based curriculum guide for early childhood education that isappropriate and responsive to the needs of indigenous groups in Agusan del Sur,Southern Philippines. To address these needs, an ethnographic community engagement framework was utilized andinitiated by JPIC-IDC team and the University Of San Carlos School OfEducation. The community engagement framework facilitated the partnership ofAgusan del Sur government leaders, a non-government organization in Germany,community cultural masters, Day Care Teachers and the University of San CarlosSchool of Education to create a developmentally appropriate and culture-basedcurriculum for Day Care with a supporting handbook for mother-teachers in earlychildhood education. As a result of this framework, children drop-out decreasedfrom 80% to 10% while parent-community involvement increased from 30% to 90% in2009 (JPIC-IDC, 2007). Ongoing teachertrainings and community orientations on the culture-based curriculum have beenextended to 42 additional communities in 2012-2018 from 35 communities in 2007upon request from the provincial governor. Two editions of a culture-basedhandbook have been published and a third edition is currently prepared forDistrict 2 communities with guided participation by Day Care teachers as co-authors.This community engagement framework, initiated by the Justice Peace andIntegrity of Creation of Agusan del Sur Philippines involving all stakeholdersfrom the provincial leaders to the recipients of early childhood education,serves as a model to community extension service programs (CES) of schools anduniversities as well as to curriculum practitioners and administrators. Threeprinciples involved in this particular community engagement concretelydemonstrate that program sustainability is a product of partnership,sensitivity to culture and context and relevance to community’s need.

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