With the yearly increase in the number of students every school year in Davao, the public schools face the problem of classroom shortage and poor learning conditions for students. Teachers oftentimes hold classes in basketball courts or under the shade of trees within the school compound. Old and dilapidated classrooms and small storage rooms are also still being used by the schools to accommodate shifting classes with over 50 students per class.
To help address the problem on the shortage of classrooms in Davao, Security Bank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Security Bank Corporation, donated fifteen (15) new classrooms for Matina Central Elementary School, Catalunan Pequeño Elementary School, Crossing Bayabas National High School and J.V.Ferriols Elementary School. “We saw how difficult the learning conditions are in the public schools, so we decided to help build new classrooms for needy public schools. By building new learning facilities, we leave behind a legacy that will benefit many students for many years.”, Security Bank Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. explains.
With Security Bank Foundation’s donation of new classrooms in Davao, the schools will have more classrooms conducive for learning for their students, class sizes will be reduced to below 50 students per class, shifting classes will be minimized and the number of class hours will be longer. Ms. Jeramie Hisoler, Teacher of Matina Central Elementary School is thankful for the new classrooms because “the students will now have safe and spacious classrooms… our classrooms will have sufficient number of students, the classes more manageable…. Ms. Daniella Marie Sotello, a student of Catalunan Pequeño Elementary School, is now more motivated to go to school because ” …mas maganda na po ang aming silid-aralan, hindi na po masikip at mainit”.
The fifteen (15) classrooms inclusive of four (4) clusters of comfort rooms for the four (4) public schools in Davao were inaugurated last August 31, 2012. Hon. Mayor Sarah Z. Duterte, Hon. Vice Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, DepEd Davao Division Schools Superintendent Dr. Helen D. Paguican, Ateneo de Manila University Vice President for Social Concern Atty. Jaime G. Hofileña and Security Bank Foundation Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. led the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the facilities.
In attendance during the event were Security Bank Foundation Trustee Melissa Aquino, Security Bank Region Head FVP Jason T. Ang, Area Head VP Eric Chiong and the Managers of Security Bank branches in Davao. Also present to witness the event were representatives of Solid Group, Inc., supplier of the fifteen (15) prefabricated modular classrooms, the councilor members of the City Government Committee on Education, Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, friends of Security Bank Davao branches, and the principals, teachers and students of the four (4) public school beneficiaries.
The donation of fifteen (15) classrooms to the four (4) schools in Davao is part of the Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The 60 Classrooms Project”. The project is a partnership for the construction of Public School Classrooms initiated by Security Bank Foundation in partnership with Ateneo de Manila University over a period of 3-5 years. Funding from Security Bank Foundation will be supported by Ateneo’s design of academic programs that will help improve the academic performance of students in public schools. The 60 Classrooms Project of the Foundation was formally launched with the building of 13 classrooms for public schools in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija in 2011, and the turnover of nine (9) classrooms for three (3) public schools in Naga City last July 2012.
In addition, the Foundation also recently signed an agreement with AGAPP Foundation, Inc. to help build 40 classrooms for kindergarten students of identified public schools nationwide.
Through the classrooms project, and in response to the Government’s call for support for the new K+12 Education Program of the Department of Education, the Foundation is committed to build 100 classrooms for public schools nationwide to benefit 7,400-8,000 students every school year and to reduce the gap of over 44,000 classrooms in the country.