The Philippines’ second-largest city has signed an agreement to implement the Israeli science curriculum in one of its public high schools.

By: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel21C

Davao, the Philippines’ second-largest largest city, has signed an agreement to implement the Israel Sci-Tech Schools’ i-STEAM education model in one of its public high schools as a model for the rest of the city’s high schools.

The i-STEAM curriculum adds innovation and arts (creativity and humanities) to traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to prepare students for the jobs of the future. Business organization, marketing and entrepreneurship components also were added to the curriculum.

Israel Sci-Tech Schools, encompassing 206 institutions and 100,000 students, has received international interest — including from the World Bank — for using i-STEAM to transform underperforming schools across Israel, particularly in poorer parts of the county.

The curriculum won the European Training Foundation’s Good Practice Award and has been adopted by schools in Europe and in the United States. Partnerships in other countries including China are expected next.

The Philippines program, called “Excellence in Education: A Lighthouse Project,” is a pilot collaboration between the city and the school network, supported by the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines and coordinated through the national Department of Education’s Davao City Schools Division and the Pass It Forward Foundation.

“Our unique curriculum helps students become the leaders of tomorrow and our hope is that our partnership with Davao City will allow their students to establish themselves as future leaders in technology and innovation,” said Zvi Peleg, director-general of Israel Sci-Tech Schools.