Entrepreneurship for kids gives cooking ‘lessons in life’ | Inquirer Business

Entrepreneurship for kids gives cooking ‘lessons in life’

/ 04:50 AM August 09, 2015

BANQUETOF LIFE This K to 12-inspired cooking activity is actual preparation of real food for the real world. INQUIRER PHOTO / RICHARD A. REYES

BANQUETOF LIFE This K to 12-inspired cooking activity is actual preparation of real food for the real world.  RICHARD A. REYES

Last Saturday, they were not your typical grade school pupils.

They were “entrepreneurs,” set to make their parents and teachers proud.


Though they may have seemed innocent and playful, they meant serious business.


About 250 students from Grades 4 to 10 of the Marian School in Novaliches, Quezon City, learned the ABCs of entrepreneurship through the “Banchetto sa Marian,” an initiative designed to test the student’s classroom learning and skills, the K-12 way.

The project, conceptualized by school supervisor Antonio Calipjo-Go—the textbook crusader noted for spotting errors in public school textbooks—had the students engaged in a half-day session of cooking, selling, marketing and promoting of food products.

Wearing their assigned national costumes (e.g., kimonos for the Japanese group) and speaking in rehearsed foreign phrases, the students pretended to be bona fide restaurant owners, waiters, cooks and hosts, as they sold their well-researched food products to potential buyers.

The lesson? Gain maximum profit out of the class-raised capital through research and well-executed concepts, ingenious product branding and, of course, delectable cooking.

“It’s supposedly a simple celebration of Nutrition Month, but we want the students to learn more, discover and expand their skills,” Go said.

Banchetto is an Italian word that means banquet. For a day, the school grounds became an open banquet for parents and visitors who patronized the student’s food businesses.


Grade 4 to 6 classes were assigned to prepare native delicacies like piyaya, binagol and moron. Grade 7 to 10 pupils displayed their cooking and entrepreneurial skills in selling dishes and foods from Italy, China, Korea, Mexico, Japan and the United States.

Hard work is key

The students learned that money-making is not a lazy child’s game.

As early as 5 a.m., the children started cooking, preparing the dishes and setting up the booths that showcased the specialties of their assigned countries.

Crew from the less-visited booths would roam the grounds trying to entice customers and promote their products.

“It’s a test of patience and convincing powers,” said Grade 10 student Ivy Joy Rosales.

In her kimono and speaking in English with a smattering of Japanese, Rosales tried to explain the food for sale at to customers at her booth.

They called their store “Jappiness,” and offered tonkatsu, teriyaki and bento box with iced tea, the latter two being their bestsellers.

Rosales, who aims to be an accountant, said the activity enabled her to learn how to do the math and manage a successful business.

“We learn the concept inside the classroom, but I learned teamwork and had real experience here,” she said.

Rosales said her group conducted research and interviewed people to come up with a product that tasted like authentic teriyaki.

Grade 10 pupil Christopher Ebal, who wants to be a teacher, said the project made him realize that operating a   business can be hard, but also fun.

“K to 12 gives the students the opportunity to enhance their skills and get a job, especially those who cannot afford to go to college,” he said.

Ebal, who acted as manager of the Japanese stall, said “the program taught me to be a good leader and model.”

“Serving is not a bad thing. It makes people happy,” he said.

Grade 4 student Angelica Caitlyn Marcos, one of the youngest participants, said she wanted to be a doctor but realized through the program that she also loved cooking.

“I love to serve and cook, but things become difficult when there are many customers. I just hope there’s not many people just like today,” she said.

Top grossers

At the end of the 4-hour event, the Italian group which sold pizza and lasagna, made P4,000, doubling the class’ P2,000 capital. The Mexican group, which served nachos, burritos and potato pops, was the second top grosser with P3,800.

By noontime, the student entrepreneurs needed to cook a whole batch of food again to cater to more customers.

“Everything was sold out without anything left for the teachers to eat,” said Go.

K to 12 application

The project, now on its third year, is an application of the objectives of the K to 12 learning program, according to Go.

“Banchetto sa Marian puts into actual practice and application all real-life learning acquired by the students from different subject areas, by simulating real-life situations such as food preparation, determining the cost and selling price of a finished product, packaging and presentation,” he said.

It integrates eight key subjects—Home Economics and Livelihood Education; English and speech; Filipino; Heograpiya; Kasaysayan at Sibika (Hekasi) and Araling Panlipunan; Science and Technology and Health; Mathematics and Art, Music and Physical Education—into one fun, meaningful learning activity.

The K to 12 system uses the integrative approach, collaborative team teaching and understanding by design teaching methods. “This simply means, the question posted at the beginning should be answered at the end,” said Go.

The project coincides with K to 12’s initial goals: to strengthen early childhood education (universal kindergarten), make the curriculum relevant to learners (contextualization and enhancement), ensure integrated and seamless learning (spiral progression), build proficiency through language (mother tongue-based multilingual education), gear up for the future (senior high school) and nurture the holistically developed Filipino (college and livelihood readiness, 21st century skills).

President Aquino earlier emphasized that the K to 12 program aims “to advance the competencies of Filipino graduates to enable them to stand at par with global practices and remain equipped with relevant skills and knowledge.”

This will make the students productive participants in nation-building in the future, he said.

K to 12 still work in progress

While Go favors the simulation concept of K to 12, he said K to 12 is still a big work in progress.

“K to 12 has decreased the competency level of public schools for the so-called ‘mastery’ of lessons. It’s never about the length of stay, but the quality,” he said.

Go also noted the lack of quantitative measurement of a student’s performance in class. “In a pass or fail system, everybody is a sure passer. That doesn’t work,” he said.

“I still stick to fixing content, especially textbooks, which are the heart and center of the learning and teaching process. If a textbook is defective, the whole process is defective, too.”

Go also lamented that the K to 12 program is somehow limiting the choices of students. It encourages students to a narrowed track of service-oriented occupations in the future, he said.

“If schools will continue to innovate and integrate the goals of K to 12 into their teaching, there is no need to change the system. As I said, it’s always quality over quantity,” he said.


K-12: Who loses, who profits

Aquino: K to 12 program not a burden; PH ready for it

Rallies in Panay call for suspension of K to 12 program


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TAGS: Cooking, Education, Entrepreneurship, K to 12 program, Novaliches

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