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 Cagayan de Oro City, Security Bank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Security Bank Corporation, donated a two-storey, four classrooms school building each for South City Central School, Cugman Elementary School and Agusan Elementary School or a total donation of twelve (12) classrooms. “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 Cagayan de Oro City, 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.
The twelve (12) concrete classrooms inclusive of comfort rooms for South City Central School, Cugman Elementary School and Agusan Elementary School were inaugurated last January 16, 2014. Hon. Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, DepEd Cagayan de Oro City Division Schools Superintendent Ms. Elena Borcillo, Ateneo de Manila University Vice President for Social Development Atty. Jaime G. Hofileña, Security Bank Corporation President Mr. Alberto S. Villarosa, and Security Bank Foundation Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. and President Anastasia Y. Dy led the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the new school buildings.
In attendance during the event were Security Bank Foundation Trustee R. Melissa Aquino, Program Manager Mel Vigo-Cordova, Security Bank Visayas Area Head Ms. Wee Sing Sy and the Managers of Security Bank Cagayan de Oro branches. Also present to witness the event were members of the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, DepEd Division Office, and the principals, teachers and students of the three (3) public school beneficiaries.
The donation of twelve (12) classrooms to the two (2) public schools in Cagayan de Oro City is part of the Foundation’s “Build a School, Build a Nation: The 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.
Security Bank Foundation’s Classrooms Project also expanded and reached more communities when it partnered with AGAPP Foundation in June 2012 to help build kindergarten classrooms for public schools in communities where Security Bank has presence.
To date, Security Bank Foundation has completed and funded 121 classrooms, inclusive of 40 kindergarten classrooms, 61 classrooms for elementary schools and 20 classrooms for public high schools benefitting 18 schools in Luzon (Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Baguio, Laguna Cavite, Isabela, Bicol) 10 schools in the Visayas (Mandaue, Iloilo, Bacolod, Tacloban) and 10 schools in Mindanao (Davao, Tagum, Davao del Norte, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga). Ninety-seven (97) of the classrooms have been turned over, with 20 classrooms in Iloilo and Zamboanga scheduled for turnover by March of this year, while four (4) completed classrooms in Tacloban which have not yet been turned over will need additional repairs because of the extent of the damage sustained.
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 200 classrooms for public schools nationwide to benefit 10,000-15,000 students every school year and to reduce the gap of over 40,000 classrooms in the country.
For 2014, Security Bank Foundation is committed to build another sixty (60) new classrooms for public schools affected by the Super Typhoon Yolanda in the communities of Ormoc and Tacloban in Leyte, Tagbilaran in Bohol and Roxas City in Capiz.