EDUCATION Secretary Armin Luistro on Wednesday said that partnerships between the government and private sector are very crucial in improving the quality of the country’s basic education system.
Since the nationwide implementation of the Universal Kindergarten Act in 2012, Luistro said the Department of Education (DepEd) recognized that partnerships with private sectors were necessary to address the need for classrooms relative to the increase in enrolment of kindergarten students.
Luistro said a volunteer group like the Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (Agapp) Foundation was the first and only non-government organization that responded to perennial problems of classroom shortage and aided the education department in building new kindergarten classrooms in far-flung areas.
“This is a story of sharing: that the more we give, the more our efforts will bear fruit into something beautiful,” Luistro said, noting that an additional 42 new ‘Silid Pangarap’ classrooms were turned over by the Agapp Foundation through the Aboitiz Foundation to the education department on Tuesday.
From 2011 to 2014, the Aboitiz Foundation has donated 176 kindergarten classrooms, for 23,000 pre-schoolers nationwide. In partnership with Agapp Foundation, Aboitiz has already donated 88 school buildings amounting to P96 million.
Since the partnership started in 2011, the Aboitiz group set out to build special classrooms for young children entering school for the first time and turned over 52 classrooms in the same year, followed up with a donation of 42 classrooms in 2013, and 40 classrooms in 2013
“We believe that a better educated youth means a better Philippines. Our partnership with Agapp helps us start them young as we provide kindergarten students with a conducive environment for learning, helping them build a strong foundation in their education journey,” Erramon Aboitiz, the Foundation’s chairperson, said.
Presidential sister and chairperson of Agapp Foundation Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada thanked Aboitiz group for giving priority in education programs.
“It makes us happy knowing that our students have a school environment which gives them enthusiasm as they start their formal education,” she said.