Due to the Philippines’ large population, several schools throughout the country, particularly in far-flung areas, have to deal with providing students with the proper education that they need to advance in life despite being cramped together in small, and sometimes dilapidated rooms or school buildings. This condition is not conducive to neither students nor teachers as they are prone to distractions that could make the learning process harder. Fortunately, some private companies work hand-in-hand with the government to help provide the necessary means to help students and teachers attain a conducive learning environment. One active contributor to this cause is the social good arm of SM, the SM Foundation Inc (SMFI).
In line with its School Building Program, SM Foundation Inc. turned over a new building to Basud Elementary School in Sorsogon last January 8, making it the first project of the foundation for the year. Basud Elementary School is one of the public elementary schools in the City of Sorsogon. It serves class sizes with more than 50 students and continues to cater to the increasing learner population that comes from neighboring barangays and other places despite condensing the students to only a total of 24 classrooms.
For the school year 2019 to 2020, a total of 550 students enrolled in Basud Elementary School. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the students and teachers were confined to the safety of their own homes to engage in online classes. At present, Basud Elementary School has 19 teachers, one administrative aide, and two utility workers who are committed and flexible in making the school an inspiring venue for both teaching and learning.
With the new facilities from SM Foundation Inc., Basud Elementary School is hoping to see a significant increase in productivity among its students as well as the teachers. With the new two-story building, SM hopes to create a more inclusive and conducive environment for one of their host communities in Sorsogon.
“Classrooms are said to be our laboratory for learning and preparation site for life. With these new classrooms, we will be able to really create a more conducive and more comfortable table learning platform where our children will be able to widen their visions and will enable them to realize their dreams. These new classrooms indeed will be able to ignite the passion of our students for growth and development – which will improve their knowledge, skills, and attitude, leading them to be productive citizens of our community” said Janine Aninipot, a teacher from Basud Elementary School.
The new building will serve as the new learning area for the school’s grades four and five students. The two-story building is equipped with four classrooms and other facilities that are fully-furnished, emergency-ready, and PWD-friendly.
Equipped with 200 armchairs, including 20 left-handed armchairs, four sets of desks for the teachers, 16 wall fans, eight whiteboards, four wall clocks, four regular washrooms with flush toilets as well as washbasins, a PWD-ramp leading to a spacious PWD washroom with handrails, flush toilet, washbasin, and a long concrete tiled bench, the new school building is something that students, teachers and parents look forward to in the coming school year.
For the province of Sorsogon and Basud Elementary School, being chosen as the recipient of the two-story, four-classroom building from SM Prime Holdings (SMPH) through SM Foundation is a great privilege.
“SMFI and SMPH has manifested their care and love to everyone even during a pandemic. Sharing their well-equipped two-story four-classroom building to Basud Elementary School is a gesture of enduring legacy of hope and inspiration to the many learners, families, and communities of Barangay Basud, in Sorsogon” said Basud Elementary School Principal Joji Buelvo.
The principal added that having all these new amenities in their school creates a fun, balanced, and satisfying environment for all that promotes equality for the teachers’ and students’ physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.
About SMFI School Building Program
SM Foundation Inc. is the social development arm of SM. Through its social good pillars like education, health, and wellness, sustainable agriculture, and relief during disasters, SMFI is committed to uplift the lives of families in grassroots communities where SM operates. The Foundation has been a very active member of the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Adopt-a-School Program since 2002. The turnover of the new school building to the community of Basud is the 102nd school facility established by SM Foundation. As a standard, SM school buildings are PWD-friendly to promote inclusiveness – which is a strong element that SMFI wants to convey throughout its social good pillars. And to translate this advocacy, the SMFI has utilized the help of other PWD organizations such as the Foundation of These-abled.
As part of their engagement, the PWDs of the Foundation of These-abled Inc. (FTI) are the ones who craft the armchairs as well as the teachers’ table and chair sets in each SM School building. By doing so, SMFI was able to engage PWDs in spreading social good across the country – not to mention the economic opportunities that the project opened for them. Aside from being PWD-friendly and creating economic opportunities for PWD based social enterprises, SM also ensured that their buildings are equipped with safety and emergency-ready features such as emergency lights at landings of staircases and emergency alarms which can be activated during disasters. The building also boasts a clinic and isolation room, a counseling room, and a library. And to promote health and hygiene, the SM Foundation installed a ten-faucet handwashing facility with a 500-liter water tank. Lastly, at the side of the new school building is a study garden – a green space established by SMFI with the intent of providing students and teachers an area for them to commune with nature.
All of these contribute to making the learning experience in public schools more conducive for students since each facility provides something for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Aside from constructing 102 school buildings, SMFI’s School Building Program is able to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for more than 17,000 students in single shift classes in more than 100 grassroots communities nationwide. With their continuous efforts, SM Foundation will yet create an educational environment where every Filipino student is comfortable to learn.
To learn more about SM Foundation’s initiatives, visit www.sm-foundation.org, or follow their Facebook page at @SMFoundationInc.
Source: Manila Standard