SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan | View firm profile
Since 2017, SyCipLaw has supported the Ready for School program of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the largest business-led NGO in the country. These efforts have included sending teams to public schools to help prepare classrooms, paint chairs, sort and wrap books, and engage with teachers and students, all for the start of the school year. But this year, students will not be heading back to those classrooms. With the pandemic preventing most schools in the Philippines from holding regular classes to avoid infection outbreaks, schools will remain empty and the challenge for the country is how to push learning continuity for students and school-age children.
Unfortunately, this challenge is much greater for public school students, most of whom cannot afford devices and data services that could allow them to attend online classes and access online materials. Instead, as proposed by the Philippines’ Department of Education, public schools are going to have to produce and distribute hard copies of self-learning modules (SLM). This is a resource/logistics-heavy approach; there are reportedly over 20 million enrollees nationwide with around 90% of these enrolled in public schools.
PBSP has responded with a fund drive for targeted schools such as Buli Elementary School, Del Rosario Elementary School, Pasay North High School, and Tisa National High School. A donation of Php25,000 will enable a public school to prepare SLMs for 50 students for one year, as well as provide two public school teachers with something that private-sector faculty may take for granted – data service for ten months. More needs to be done to ensure that less privileged students can access quality education, but in these difficult times, every effort counts.
SyCipLaw is the only law firm member of PBSP and the firm’s lawyers and staff are supporting this initiative. Any person or entity that wishes to support this effort can send an e-mail to Kristine L. Jimeno-Rivadelo at firstname.lastname@example.org.