Six young student leaders aim to build 10,000 classrooms
Allysa Sariba (1st from right), AYLC 2012, and Erika Dimaguila (2nd from right), AYLC 2009, part of the growing number of AYLC alumni engaging in Ten Moves, brings the campaign to Naga City.
Eighty-one student leaders trekked to Tagaytay last February for the 14th annual National Ayala Young Leaders Congress. The theme was “Winning Hearts and Minds: Changing Paradigms.”
The conference is part of the commitment of the Ayala conglomerate to continue to help shape today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.
Five of this year’s delegates, with one alumna, have chosen “T.E.N. Moves” as their personal cause.
Launched August 2011, T.E.N. Moves (The Entire Nation Moves) is a social mobilization campaign to raise enough resources to build classrooms in public schools all over the country. The campaign is part of “Bayanihang Pampaaralan” of the 57-75 Education Reform Movement, an alliance that includes the League of Corporate Foundations and Philippine Business for Social Progress.
Working with the Department of Education, the groups are targeting two million Filipinos to donate P10 a day or P300 a month for 10 months, for a total of P3,000 per person. T.E.N. Moves aims to build 10,000 classrooms.
Foundation of education
How important is the classroom? A good classroom is a physical anchor of our education, our mooring. We look back on our grade or high school years with fun memories of our favorite teachers or crushes—in the classroom. During national and local elections, classrooms serve as voting precincts, the fortress to protect the sanctity of the ballot.
Classrooms shape our 20 or so years of learning, before we set out for the real world. It is our second home, where our second parents drill us on subjects, courses and lessons that hopefully will get us through life after school.
With over 23 million students from 45,000 public schools alone, imagine how 66,000 additional classrooms could help inspire and educate more dreamers.
The five newly minted AYLC alumni and one development associate, who all lead different lives, see one major challenge they want to tackle: the lack of classrooms.
“There are still a lot of problems in our education system, but as a future educator, I believe the availability of updated learning materials and the rehabilitation of public school facilities are soon to be realities, with the help of the Department of Education,” says Ma. Allysa Jenica Sariba, BS Education (Mathematics), University of Nueva Caceres.
“When talking about the youth, I see thousands of young people eager to make a difference. I truly believe if this eagerness, with the support of the officials, will be channeled throughout our country to help bring out change, we can do something. We may be young but we have a voice—we must use it wisely.”
“Our education sector faces a host of problems, as it is consistently underfunded,” says Abriam Josh Esteban, AB Communication, Angeles University Foundation. “We have scant resources to construct schools and classrooms. As a result, many students are not even able to finish basic education.
“True leadership starts from within. To convince and motivate my community to join this crusade for education, I must be able to demonstrate and concretely exhibit the ideals and principles I so passionately proclaim. Being a good role model is a first step to win hearts and minds. I believe we can and will conquer any challenge. It’s about time we did.”
“The deficiency of classrooms and facilities conducive to learning, the relatively poor quality of textbooks particularly for the public schools, and the lack of benefits and compensation for our teachers are the three problems facing our current educational system,” says Dom Joseph Bulan, BS Applied Mathematical Finance, Ateneo de Manila University.
“There is the stigma of seeing public education as being inferior to its private counterpart. Volunteerism is one concrete way by which the youth can contribute: helping out in school, being active in co-curricular or extracurricular organizations, and engaging one’s community. What the youth will do today will shape how our society and country will be in the years to come.”
“The lack of classrooms and the fact that teachers are not compensated properly are basic problems exposing students to deficient learning,” says Kim Sony Mendoza, BA Communication Arts, University of the Philippines-Los Baños.
“I believe nothing is impossible, if everyone will act on these problems rather than just merely sympathize with those affected. We, the youth, need to be more relevant in this fast-changing world. Everyone has the right to a quality education. Hence, everyone has the responsibility to work for it. We should not be overly dependent on the government or other sectors of society.”
“The Department of Education has done a good job appraising the academic standards of our students. However, a question remains unanswered: Can we go to school? I consider the shortage of classrooms with quality educational materials to be the biggest challenge in our educational system,” says Luigi Anthonoel Chan, BS Nursing, Southwestern University.
“Given the youth’s creativity and vigor, we can expect countless solutions. Social networking effectively involves the youth more than ever. As more and more stay connected, the possibilities are endless. Movements and advocacies could be launched one click at a time. Clearly, the youth, as tomorrow’s leaders, should take the lead in ensuring that everyone can enjoy education soon.”
Erika Dimaguila, development associate, Ayala Foundation, AYLC 2009 Alumna, agrees.
“Our main educational problem is we lack the foundation—a backbone. We face problems that are as varied as the increase in the number of out-of-school youth, the lack of basic facilities and poor access to technology, and the ineffectiveness of our curricula.”
“There are many avenues for the youth to contribute to nation-building. It’s about finding one’s niche. See what it is that you are passionate about, and see how it can be used for a greater purpose, as a means to become a more concerned Filipino citizen. The youth’s greatest assets are idealism and drive. And in challenging times, these are what this nation needs.”
Everyone can help thousands of Filipino kids attain better education by helping build classrooms. One’s P10 daily (or P300 per month) can go a long way.
For more information, visit www.tenmoves.org
Article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer dated June 8, 2012: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/51523/six-young-student-leaders-aim-to-build-10000-classrooms