Peace Management, Literacy, and Continuing Education through Night Market, Philippines

  • Date published:
    18 October 2013

Programme Overview

Programme Title Peace Management, Literacy, and Continuing Education through Night Market
Implementing Organization Local Government of Tagum City Literacy Coordinating Council (CLCC)
Language of Instruction Visayan (local language), Tagalog and English
Funding Government (60%), NGOs (40%)
Programme Partners Numerous national and local government agencies, several NGOs and religious organisations, several media partners, academic institutions
Annual Programme Costs PHP 2,534,756 (≈ US$ 58,000)
Date of Inception 2004

Country Context and Background

In its Country Assistant Strategy (CAS) Progress Report for the Republic of the Philippines (2011), the World Bank depicts a mixed picture of the Philippines’ success in reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Positive developments have been achieved in terms of gender equity in basic education, lower child and infant mortality and better health conditions. Shortcomings are particularly notable in the field of poverty reduction, universal primary education and child and maternal health. Much effort is for example still required to bring down the proportion of population living below the national poverty line from 26.5 per cent in 2009 to the targeted 16.6 per cent in 2015. The World Bank CAS Progress Report (World Bank 2011) also points out that the remarkable economic growth in the Philippines from 2000 to 2006 did not lead to poverty alleviation.

According to the most recent data from 2010 published by the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR) about Youth, Skills and Work (UNESCO 2012), the net enrolment ratio in primary education in the Philippines decreased from 96 per cent in 1990 to 88 per cent in 2010, which shows that there is still a long way to go in order to reach the anticipated 100 per cent primary school enrolment by 2015. The UNESCO EFA GMR also shows that adult literacy rates have remained rather stable in the past two decades, increasing only slightly from 94 per cent in 1994 to 95 per cent in 2010. During the same time span, youth literacy rates increased from 97 per cent to 98 per cent.

The current administration under President Aquino is trying to enhance its efforts towards reaching the MDGs by initiating the 2011–2016 Philippine Development Plan (PHP), which calls for increased investments in education and health. Among other additional policy goals, the PHP framework also aims to provide better development opportunities for Filipinos. The Peace Management Literacy and Continuing Education through Night Market programme in Tagum City strives to achieve the same goals, and the programme is therefore a good example of ongoing reform efforts in the Philippines.

Programme Overview

The Peace Management Literacy and Continuing Education through Night Market programme (henceforth referred to here as the Night Market programme) was set up in 2004 by the local government of Tagum City in the province of Davao del Norte.

This programme offers nine different literacy courses that teach a variety of formal and functional literacy skills. The Tagum City Night Market is the focus of the City’s broad Peace Management Literacy and Continuing Education project, which has the underlying aim of promoting a peaceful Tagum City through education and literacy.

The Night Market programme started in 2004 with the legalisation of the existing night market through the local government. This increased the economic prospects of the night market vendors and it was the starting point of complementary functional literacy programmes. These courses about basic literacy, health education, food safety, entrepreneurial skills, youth leadership, waste management and Accreditation & Equivalency test preparation has to the present day benefited around 16,400 of Tagum’s citizens and significantly improved peace and security in the city.

Aims and Objectives

  • achieving a peaceful and orderly city;
  • providing educational and employment opportunities for marginalised groups;
  • teaching workers practical literacy skills like entrepreneurial management;
  • fulfilling the learning needs of people that cannot be met by the formal education system;
  • raising dignity and standards of living of participants;
  • offering soft-loan packages as support for business owners;
  • improving garbage disposal and waste segregation;
  • offering employment for indigenous people, muslims, women and youth;
  • achieving the 2015 efa goals through regular monitoring and evaluation; and
  • introducing measures for sustainability and innovations.

Programme Implementation

Teaching Approaches and Methodologies

The Night Market programme consists of nine different course programmes, which are offered during one year. The two longest courses are the Basic literacy and the Accreditation & Equivalency courses with a duration of ten months. The Basic literacy course reaches 45 adult learners annually and is taught in a school inside the night market of Tagum city. The Accreditation & Equivalency course prepares for the Accreditation & Equivalency (A & E) test administered by the Department of Education’s Bureau of Alternative Learning System and reaches around 1,075 learners annually. These two programmes are accompanied by short-term courses which vary from four hours to three days and cover a variety of important topics. The topics range from peace and youth leadership to entrepreneurial skills and health education, and they also cover waste management, cooking skills and food handling.

The programme uses a holistic teaching approach that aims to combine literacy teaching with the teaching of functional literacy and life skills, which are applicable to everyday life of learners. The teaching method is also quite flexible by incorporating lectures, cooperative learning, specific adult learning techniques and active teaching of practical work. A variety of materials are used in the teaching of the courses, including instructional materials, story books, magazines, cultural materials, newspapers, multi-media and other reference materials. These materials were developed by the Department of Education and by mobile teachers and experts under the guidance of the City’s Literacy Coordinating Council (CLCC). Computer and other information and technology devices are also used to make teaching more interactive and effective.

The learning pace depends on the participants’ capacities. Flexibility of learning is given much priority in the teaching of these adult learners. Learners may suggest and agree on the learning pace and content with other learners and the literacy facilitators. Their need is being assessed upon their admission entrances to the learning centre.

Although the courses are principally designed according to the beneficiaries’ needs and backgrounds, learners can define what they want to learn and they can set their own objectives. This form of contribution by learners increases the attractiveness of the programme to potential participants and also enhances the learning experiences of beneficiaries. Consequently, the programme is seen to be successful if learners have been able to reach their own goals. Besides the contribution by learners, the teaching content is also determined through learning needs assessments, functional literacy tests and mapping . These assessment tests and mapping form a tool that traces the personal background and the educational level of the learners including their educational interests.

The curriculum generally follows the Basic Education and Alternative Learning System (ALS). However, the implementation of the curriculum is flexible by adapting to the learner’s capacities and needs. The classes are not structured. They take place in a group, in singular phase , or in a distance learning context where the learners are able to continue working while pursuing their education. The main topics of the curriculum are life skills, communication which includes reading, writing and comprehension, self-awareness, entrepreneurial skills, coping with stress, and personality development. Furthermore the curriculum aims to cover family issues like responsible parenthood and family budgeting. The curriculum also includes income-related topics such as daily savings, entrepreneurship and village co-operatives; health-related issues are also discussed. Lastly, the programme also aspires to raise learner’s knowledge of rights and duties and establish a culture of peace.

The teaching of the various courses is a joint effort of the City government and other institutions. These include national government agencies, NGOs, academic and religious institutions. One example is the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, which conducts legal education to night market vendors in order to help them comply with rules and regulations. The Tagum City Division of the Department of Education created the City Literacy Coordinating Council (CLCC), which provides alternative learning sessions to participants as well as financial management training. Religious institutions provide on-the-job training for participants through church scholars. Local academic institutions also contribute to the Night Market programme. For example, the Arriesgado College Foundation Inc. offers training on health and sanitation, whereas the St. Thomas Moore School of Law informs participants about consumer and vendor rights.

Recruitment and Training of Facilitators

The Tagum City Night Market programme employs volunteers, paid, full-time and part-time facilitators. As a reward for their work, facilitators receive either a salary or an honorarium. The faciliators of each of the nine course programmes ought to have a bachelor’s degree. They undergo a basic training course and further enhancement training to prepare them for teaching. The seminars and training courses for the facilitators are conducted by the institutions that have the highest expertise in the topic of the respective course programme. For example, the seminar for the health education course is managed by the Tagum City Health Office, whereas the training for the cooking demonstration facilitators is run by the City’s Nutrition Council. The Department of Social Welfare assists in the training and accreditation of teachers, and the Department of Education is responsible for the training of ALS Mobile Teachers and Community-Based Instructional Managers.

The learner/facilitator ratio is usually close to 25 to 1. However, the learner/facilitator ratio in the two lecture-type seminars on youth leadership and peace are 300 to 7 and 250 to 3 respectively.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The CLCC undergoes regular monitoring and supervision of all aspects of the programme. For example, a tracking system was set up in order to monitor the beneficiary’s literacy profiles and developments. Various other national and local government agencies are also involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme. First, there are government agencies like the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development Office, who assist the CLCC in monitoring and evaluation of the course programmes. The City Health Office evaluates the compliance of vendors with food safety requirements and hands out health cards to night market vendors. Furthermore, the Tagum City Economic Enterprise Office conducts a nightly monitoring scheme that checks for night market vendor’s compliance with the night market rules and regulations and evaluates the need for improvement and expansion of the programme. The monitoring scheme also aims to assess the level of learners who participate in the national A & E test. Participants of the programme receive accreditation and recognition of skills through the Technical Education Skills Development Authority of the Department of Education. This validation aspect of the literacy programme aims to motivate participants to pursue further education and skills training.

Programme Impact


Since its implementation starting in 2004, the programme has achieved some notable results in terms of class completion. The A & E test preparation course has overall produced 4,434 graduates in basic and functional literacy. The Basic literacy course in the night market school enabled 92 children to finish their basic education. Additionally, 282 learners have benefited from the entrepreneurial training course that taught bookkeeping, financial skills and management. Each year, the health education seminar manages to inform 405 market vendors about health and issue them with health certificates. Furthermore, 1,750 beneficiaries were taught about proper garbage disposal and waste segregation, while 4,375 women received skills training on food handling.

Besides these improvements in literacy skills, the programme also improved the environment of the community as a whole. The initial establishment of the night market in 2004 legalised the business of night market vendors and enhanced employment and business opportunities for locals. Night market vendors were induced to stick to the city’s rules and regulations and to keep their market place clean. The legalised night market also increased the city government’s revenue.

Additionally, the numerous literacy course programmes also contributed to a peaceful atmosphere in Tagum City. Before 2004, ambulant vendors set up their stands anywhere and their behavior was very unruly. Through peace education, the adult learners are now solving their own problems peacefully without the intervention of police authority.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

The first challenge regarding the implementation of the programme is the struggle of the city government to provide ways of improving productivity and income to enlarge the programme, since more and more night market vendors want to participate in the literacy programme. A second major challenge is the provision of literacy material with the lowest costs possible. The policies governing the night market must also be reviewed. Extending the programme to other groups such as especially-abled persons also proves to be a challenge. It is necessary to increase more employment opportunities for non-formal school graduates.


The success and sustainability of the Night Market programme relies on the involvement of numerous donors. The Department of Labor serves as an employment facilitator and career guide for graduates of the literacy programme, and it also provides financial assistance and entrepreneurial training to night market vendors. For example, the agency granted around US $11,500 for capacity building and financial assistance to entrepreneurs as well as provision of financial expertise. The Department of Education’s advocacy and social mobilisation for the literacy courses also contribute to the sustainability of the Night Market programme. The Philippine National Police, providing resource speakers to the peace forum, is another contributor,

The second major group of contributors are local government agencies. The City Economic Enterprise Office, for example, oversees the administration of the night market. Moreover, private donors and supporters also play an important role in guaranteeing the sustainability of the programme. Just to name a few, the Rotary club of Tagum North donates textbooks and learning materials to the school-age children of the night market vendors, and they also help with medical services to vendors. Another example is the Tagum City Gay Association, which provides free haircuts to night market vendors and their staff four times a year.

Tagum’s religious sector also contributes to the sustainability of the Night Market programme by promoting the night market during mass and other church services, and among other things giving out scholarships to deserving children of night market vendors. Lastly, there are several local media partners, who prominently disseminate information about all course programmes to the general public and who document the ongoing efforts of the Night Market literacy programme.


Contact details

Mr Anwar E. Maadel, MPA
Position: Project Development Officer/City School Evaluatorn
Department of Education- Tagum City Division
E-park, Apokon, Tagum City
Email: aemaadel (at) yahoo.com
Website: http://www.tagumcity.gov.ph

Last update: 18 October 2013

For citation please use

U. Hanemann (Ed.). Last update: 18 October 2013. Peace Management, Literacy, and Continuing Education through Night Market, Philippines. UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. (Accessed on: 27 March 2023, 09:15 CEST)

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