TACLOBAN NEWS – Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc. (CCFPI), in collaboration with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Department of Education (DepEd), recently turned over a two-storey, six-classroom school building to school officials of the Yolanda-torn Marasbaras Elementary School (ES) in Tacloban City, Leyte to help bring back a better and more conducive learning environment to its schoolchildren.
Leading the turnover ceremony were Coca-Cola Philippines vice president for Public Affairs and Communications Atty. Adel Tamano and CCFPI president Ma. Cecilia Alcantara with DepEd Undersecretary Mario Deriquito, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, and PBSP Program Management Office Director for Education Marylin Muncada.
During the event, Mayor Romualdez said that he will be pushing the local government to adopt the model of the building for the city’s future building projects.
“This is the first structure that I’ve seen that is not only functional but also cost-effective,” Mayor Romualdez added.
The new building is the first disaster-resilient school building CCFPI has built in the country. Its other features include a roof deck for possible evacuation, ramps for better access to persons with disabilities, and wider doors and windows in every room.
For Grade 6 adviser and Science teacher Helen Daaco, the new school building is not just the biggest project a donor has given to Marasbaras ES but a symbol that their school could finally go back to normal.
It made us hope that we could teach in the way that we envisioned,” she added.
Daaco recounts how, after the typhoon, they had to scrub desks and dry whatever books and records they could find just to provide a learning environment for their students.
“We went around different areas and evacuation centers to find and encourage our students to go back to school. It was important that we could teach them to help them feel that our situation will get better,” she said.
With the new building, Daaco is more inspired to teach since the rooms have bigger spaces which are more conducive to learning.
“I’m teaching Science, so for me, a spacious room really matters. In Science, you don’t learn through chalk and talk alone. You have to let your students explore through experiments, film shows and other activities that really encourage them to open their minds,” she added.
The Little Red Schoolhouse (LRS) project is funded by the global network and business partners of the Coca-Cola Company. It also supports PBSP’s flagship project in its program on Education which is on classroom construction.
“When people work together especially after a calamity, they give the essence of hope to the people. Partnerships like this give educational value because we show our children the value of working together, which they will need to become responsible citizens,” Undersecretary Deriquito concluded.