Sunday, October 30, 2011

Ten Moves toward building 10,000 classrooms

Ten Moves toward building 10,000 classrooms
The Manila Times
October 30, 2011

The country's education system is continuously suffering from different problems and issues that pose a great threat to the future of our Filipino children. And with the shortage in teachers, classrooms and textbooks, poor quality education, and underpaid or unpaid public school teachers, among others, the situation, sadly, is just getting worse.

Of the many concerns in education, the shortage in classrooms is considered as one of the worst.

Data from the Department of Education shows that just for the 2011 to 2012 school year, the Philippines need 66,800 classrooms--a figure based on the ideal 1:40 teacher-to-student ratio.

The government, as well as private sectors in the society, continuously tries to lessen the big backlog, but their efforts never seem to be enough.

Today, a new movement called TEN Moves challenges all Filipinos to help in building 10,000 additional classrooms and be part of a bigger solution. It calls for everyone to contribute P10 each day for 10 months, a total of P3,000, for the construction of the 10,000 classrooms for the next two years.

TEN Moves is a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder initiative spearheaded by the 57-75 Movement, led by the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd).

The launch of TEN Moves was held on October 14 at the Filipinas Heritage Library in Makati City and was attended by key leaders who pioneered the program. They were Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro, PBSP Executive Director Rafael Lopa, LCF's trustee and former president Maria Cecilia Lopez-Alcantara and LCF Chairman Mario Deriquito.

Luistro, being secretary of DepEd acknowledges that the department has intensified its efforts in providing much-needed classrooms, government resources still remain insufficient to address resource gaps.

Other adverse effects from lack of classrooms also arise such as decrease in participation rates among elementary and high school students; an increase in drop-out rates; and poor student performance.

This led DepEd in joining the TEN Moves campaign and call for every Filipino to solve the classroom shortage. "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," Luistro voiced out.

Ideally, 2 million Filipinos or more need to participate in TEN Moves and donate P10 a day to raise enough money to build 10,000 classrooms. But, Luistro clarified that whatever amount could be donated. According to the secretary, it is not the amount of money but actually the social impact matters in the campaign.

The real goal of TEN Moves is to engage more Filipinos from different communities and sectors to improve the education system of the country.

Alcantra added, "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."

"We recognize that the private sector is in a unique position to help in this cause by providing specific institutional and resource mobilization capabilities," noted Lopa.

Lopa also called on ordinary citizens and said "We also understand that there is untapped potential among ordinary citizens, and it is our goal to engage them in providing our children with the resources they deserve."

And since the private launch of TEN Moves, it has gathered over P2.5 million in donations through individual donations as well as corporate pledges.

"When we combine individual efforts, the impact that we can make toward enhancing education opportunities for millions of Filipino schoolchildren can be tremendous," concluded Deriquito.

Individuals may contribute to the TEN Moves campaign in the following ways: bank deposits to any BPI, BDO, or UnionBank branches; online donations via credit card at the TEN Moves website at ; and via mobile through G-Cash. 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.