Wednesday, October 26, 2011

P10 a day in 10 months = 10,000 classrooms

P10 a day in 10 months = 10,000 classrooms
The Philippine Star
October 26, 2011

A donation of P10 a day for 10 months is enough to lessen the problem on the shortage of classrooms in the country.

This is how the TEN (The Entire Nation) Moves works. The program calls for Filipinos to contribute P10 a day for 10 months or a total of P3,000 for the construction of 10,000 classrooms in two years.

The program, an initiative of the 57-75 Movement, led by the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), was launched to the public today.

The Department of Education (DepEd) said that for the school year of 2011-2012, there is a shortage of approximately 66,800 classrooms in the country, a figure that is based on the ideal teacher-to-student ratio of 1:40.

Among the priority areas that have the greatest need of classrooms are: Pangasinan, Isabela, Batangas, Quezon, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol, Leyte, Zamboanga del Sur, and North Cotabato.

The DepEd said that the shortage of classrooms fuels other challenges within the sector, including: the decrease in participation rates among elementary and high school students; an increase in drop-out rates; and poor student performance.

It said that it has intensified its efforts by implementing programs that include the provision of much-needed classrooms.

However, the department said that government resources are not enough to address resource gaps, prompting the DepEd to enter into a partnership with the 57-75 Movement.

“We are calling on all Filipinos to work with us in bridging resource gaps, especially the task of addressing the classroom shortage, which is a critical step in providing enhanced opportunities for millions of Filipino children,” said Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

The campaign was initially launched among the private sector last July. It has gathered P2.5 million in donations through individual donations as well as corporate pledges of employee mobilization and support.

“The government needs our support in implementing reforms in the education sector,” said LCF trustee and past president Cecile Alcantara.

“The private sector and the communities must work together in mobilizing local resources and energies in order to improve access to education for millions of Filipino children. It is the future of our children and our country at stake if education challenges remain unanswered. As such, we must all do our share to guarantee access to education for our nation’s children."

Those who want to join the campaign may bring in their donations through: bank deposits to any BPI, BDO, or UnionBank branches; online donations via credit card at the TEN Moves website at www.tenmoves.org; and via mobile through G-Cash.

The organizers of the campaign said that more donation channels will be made available as the campaign progresses.

The youth are also encouraged to mobilize their friends and networks by influencing their circles of family and friends to pool in resources for the campaign.

The organizers are optimistic about the power in harnessing and mobilizing national support towards their goals.

“When we combine individual efforts, the impact that we can make toward enhancing education opportunities for millions of Filipino schoolchildren can be tremendous,” said LCF education committee chairperson Mario Deriquito.