With the yearly increase in the number of students in the country, 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 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 the country, Security Bank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Security Bank Corporation, built and donated twelve (12) classrooms for two (2) public schools in Ormoc City, and another twelve (12) classrooms for two (2) public schools in Tacloban City in the Province of Leyte.
“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 Foundation Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. explains.
With Security Bank Foundation’s donation of new classrooms in Tagbilaran City, the schools will have more classrooms conducive for learning for their students, class sizes will be reduced to below 50 students per class for more focused learning, classes in shifts will be minimized and the number of class hours will be longer.
Twelve (12) classrooms for Tagbilaran City East Elementary School and Tagbilaran City Central School were inaugurated and formally turned over in the afternoon of July 20, 2015. SBFI Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr., Ateneo de Manila University Vice President for Social Development Atty. Jaime G. Hofilena, together with the Hon. Mayor John Geesnell L. Yap II and Superintendent Dr. Evangel M. Luminarias of DepEd Division of Tagbilaran City led ceremonial ribbon cutting of the classrooms donation in the two (2) public school beneficiaries.
Also present to witness the inaugurations was Security Bank Foundation Trustee / Corporate Secretary Melissa R. Aquino and Program Manager Mel Cordova, Security Bank Tagbilaran Branch Business Manager Ms. Elena Deligero, and clients of Security Bank Tagbilaran branch.
Representatives from the City Government and DepEd Division Office of Tagbilaran City also graced the event together with the teachers, parents and students of the two (2) public school beneficiaries.
The donation of twelve (12) classrooms to the two (2) public school beneficiaries in Tagbilaran City is part of the Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project”.
The “Build a School, Build a Nation: The Classrooms Project” is a partnership for the construction of Public School Classrooms of Security Bank Foundation in partnership Ateneo de Manila University. For this collaboration, Security Bank Foundation would provide financing for the construction of the classrooms, while Ateneo de Manila University, through its Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED), will design programs that will help improve the academic performance of students in public schools. The other major partners include the Department of Education, who is responsible for providing the classroom furniture and the respective Local Government Units, whose responsibility will be the provision for the land where the classrooms will be constructed, the facilitation of construction permits and monitoring of the construction projects.
Since 2011, Security Bank Foundation has provided funding for the construction of two hundred forty-one (241) classrooms, inclusive of forty-two (42) kindergarten classrooms, one hundred twenty-three (123) classrooms for elementary students and seventy-six (76) classrooms for high students in fifty-six (56) public schools in thirty-eight (38) cities and municipalities nationwide. These two hundred forty-one (241) classrooms will benefit 20,000-24,000 public school students every school year or a total of 600,000 public students for twenty-five (25) years.
Mr. Simpao adds, “We never thought that we can achieve and even exceed our expectation of building our initial target of sixty (60) classrooms in only 3 years, but by the grace of God, we were able to do it and even exceeded our target! However, more work still needs to be done. As long as the Security Bank Family is doing well, we will continue to help build and donate more classrooms for the public schools in the country”.
In response to the Government’s call for support for the new K+12 Education Program of the Department of Education, Security Bank Foundation’s Classrooms Project is committed to build more classrooms for public schools nationwide to help reduce the gap of over 40,000 classrooms shortage in the country.