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 South Luzon, Security Bank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Security Bank Corporation, donated a 2 storey, 6 classrooms school building for Caingin Elementary School in Sta Rosa, Laguna and another 2 storey, 6 classrooms school building for Fernando Air Base National High School in Lipa City, Batangas.
“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 Lipa City and Sta. Rosa 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.
Six (6) classrooms for Fernando Air Base National High School in Lipa City, Batangas were inaugurated and formally turned over in the morning of June 17, 2015. SBFI Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr. and Br. Joaquin S. Martinez FSC, President of De La Salle Lipa, together with Ms. Rachel Villafuerte of De La Salle Philippines, Atty. Leo Latido from the Office of the Hon. Mayor Meynardo A. Sabili of Lipa City, Superintendent Mr. Osias S. Monforte of DepEd Division of Lipa City and Base Commander LTC Erwin Solomon of Fernando Air Base led the ceremonial ribbon cutting of the school building donation.
Another six (6) classrooms for Caingin Elementary School in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, on the other hand, was inaugurated in the afternoon of the same day. The ribbon cutting ceremony was also led by SBFI Chairman Rafael F. Simpao, Jr., Dr. Pagasa Gaspillo, Vice President of De La Salle Philippines, Inc., Br, Raymundo Suplido FSC, President of De La Salle University-Science Technology Center-Canlubang, together with Cong. Dan Fernandez of Laguna, and Mr. Arnold Arcillas from the Office of the Hon. Mayor Arlene Arcillas of Sta. Rosa City and Superintendent Dr. Hereberto Jose Miranda of the DepEd Division of Sta. Rosa City.
Also present to witness the inaugurations were representatives from the De La Salle Lipa and De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex, Security Bank Foundation Trustee / Corporate Secretary Melissa R. Aquino, Area Head of Security Bank South Luzon and Bicol branches Mr. Angel Muyot, Jr, Area Head for Security Bank Laguna branches Mr. Eric Buensuceso, and Mr. Render Duenas and Ms. Genevieve Latido of Security Bank Lipa Branch.
Representatives from the City Governments and DepEd Division Offices of Lipa City and Sta. Rosa City also graced the events 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 Lipa City, Batangas and Sta. Rosa City, Laguna 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 De La Salle Philippines, Inc. For this collaboration, Security Bank Foundation would provide financing for the construction of the classrooms, while De La Salle Philippines, through its La Salle Schools, 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-six (36) cities and municipalities nationwide. These two hundred forty-one (241) classrooms will benefit 20,000-24,000 public school students every school year.
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.