Monday, October 10, 2011

Deal to benefit pupils in low performing schools in Bohol

Deal to benefit pupils in low performing schools in Bohol
Cebu Daily News
October 10, 2011

A TOTAL of 77 pupils from grades 1 to 3 of Catarman Elementary School in barangay Catarman, Dauis town, Bohol will benefit from  mentoring sessions after telecommunications company and Holy Name University(HNU) signed an agreement to implement smart CommuniTeach in school.

CommuniTeach is a program initiated by Smart to improve learning among the lowest performing public elementary schools through the active participation of the parents and the community in mentoring their children.

The agreement was signed by lawyer Maria Jane Paredes, Smart Public Affairs senior manager for Visayas-Mindanao; HNU President Rev. Fr. Francisco Estepa, SVD; Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) senior program officer Riza Horcasitas and Bohol Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorna Rances.

“We cannot rely solely on the teachers or an organization to help our children; it requires the collective effort of all sectors. This is why it is called CommuniTeach,” said Paredes.
Fr. Estepa said HNU is privileged to participate in CommuniTeach since the program enables the university to realize its vision of community service.

He said the program would strengthen the vocation for teaching among HNU’s education students.

HNU will identify its students as teacher volunteers for the weekly program held every Saturday, evaluate and customize the learning modules to fit the needs of the schoolchildren.

Prior to their actual assignment, the teacher volunteers underwent capability trainings to  fulfill their roles and responsibilities in the program.

Parents, prepare food for the children during the tutorial sessions. They have been invited by HNU to sell their delicacies in the university canteen as part of a livelihood program.
CommuniTeach uses the Silid Aralan Learning Technology (SALT), a teaching module that caters to the various learning styles of children.

Simplicio Gadugdug V, a student volunteer, said the students displayed remarkable improvement after six weeks of mentoring sessions.

“This is what gives us volunteers a sense of fulfillment – to see the improved performance of the children. It tells us that the sacrifice of being here every Saturday is worth it,” he said.

Under the agreement, Smart will provide overall program direction and funding for the first year of implementation while PBSP will implement the program and generate additional funds from its member companies to sustain the program.

DepEd through the Catarman Elementary School will identify the student beneficiaries, provide a CommuniTeach center, monitor and report the progress of the students.