Working with communities through education to create a better future

Working with communities through education to create a better future

/ 02:36 PM August 22, 2022

Quality education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty, reducing inequality, and empowering people to live more meaningful lives. For Security Bank Foundation, Inc. (SBFI) this holds true, which is why it launched its flagship program, “Build a School, Build a Nation Program: The Classrooms Project,” in 2011.

The project is a holistic education program to improve the quality of basic education in the Philippines by providing classrooms in Security Bank communities. The infrastructure donation is complemented with major repair support, training for teachers and principals, and other learner support interventions that ultimately enrich the education of Filipinos. 

Since the program’s inception, it has funded the construction of over 715 classrooms, with 621 already turned over and 94 more in various stages of construction. Eleven years since the program’s launch, SBFI has become the second major provider of classrooms among local Philippine foundations. 

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“Security Bank Foundation strived to reach 700 classrooms constructed and in progress by the end of 2021. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have challenged our ability to fully turnover the remaining  classrooms still in progress, we hope to turn these over by the end of 2022 to support our schools’ aspiration to finally resume face-to-face classes and provide better quality education for students,” says Rafael F. Simpao, Jr., SBFI Chairman.

SBFI takes pride in the impact of its programs, as recognized by multiple domestic and international award-giving bodies. Recently, SBFI was recognized by Retail Banker International for its contribution to the local community and by the League of Corporate Foundations for espousing stakeholder collaboration. 

Classrooms that have been turned over helped address classroom gaps in 112 schools located in 64 cities and municipalities nationwide. Over 150,000 students in the country have benefited from these school facilities. 

SBFI regularly evaluates its donated school buildings every five years to assess structural integrity and conduciveness for learning. Those that are heavily damaged by disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons are prioritized for repair to ensure student safety. In the last three years, SBFI repaired 215 of its donated classrooms.

SBFI, in partnership with Security Bank, also provided 2,754 galvanized iron (GI) sheets to rehabilitate 105 classrooms in 55 public schools affected by recent typhoons Rolly, Ulysses, and Odette. 

Improving the quality of education beyond classrooms

Apart from constructing classrooms, SBFI continues to go beyond in its pursuit of better education by partnering with Ateneo De Manila University and De La Salle Philippines to conduct training for teachers and school principals. 

When face to face learning was put to a halt by the pandemic, SBFI quickly responded and launched the “Ready, Set, Read!” program, which made distance learning fun and engaging for students and teachers. Built as a complementary program to the “Build a School, Build a Nation” program, it was designed to improve the English reading competencies of Filipino students through the integration of teachers’ training and educational video production and distribution. To date, SBFI has already trained 10,152 teachers, 94 school principals, and 337 parents from both face-to-face and virtual training delivery modes.

Security Bank communities

In the last two years, SBFI also expanded its distance learning support interventions for its classrooms project beneficiary schools by donating keychain microscopes called “Makeroscopes” and portable media libraries containing 1,500 Knowledge Channel-produced instructional materials. 

“Our task at the Department of Education is clear — to protect our children and ensure they have access to quality education whether they live in urban or rural areas of the country. I commend the Security Bank Foundation for helping the government achieve its commitment to improve equitable access to quality education through the Build a School, Build a Nation Program. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, SBFI continued to fund and manage the construction and repair of public school classrooms, as well as the training of teachers. By investing resources in the education of our children and youth, you are helping ensure a bright future for the country. Thank you for being a valuable partner in building back a stronger and more resilient basic education system. Patuloy nating mahalin ang Pilipinas,” says Vice President Sara Duterte, Department of Education Secretary.

Security Bank education

Supporting employees and the community

SBFI is also at the forefront in championing support for its employees, agency personnel, and future talent, through scholarship programs so they can further their personal and professional lives.  

Over the years, SBFI consistently found ways to reach out to marginalized individuals and communities to empower them to become more productive citizens. While the focus has always been on improving the state of education in the country through classroom construction and training interventions for public schools, SBFI is committed to do more in an effort to give Filipinos a better overall quality of life. So far, the program has already supported 1,140 scholars, graduated 185 college scholars, and employed five graduates in Security Bank. 

When it came to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, SBFI collaborated with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to donate negative pressure ambulance units and regular ambulance units. SBFI also helped fund the establishment of a PRC molecular laboratory in Mandaue City, Cebu, which served as a COVID-19 testing site for the region. 

SBFI also continues to enhance its training programs for teachers and school principals, with a focus on addressing basic gaps in the Philippine educational system. SBFI’s success over the years is due to its ability to engage stakeholders, foster good relations with partners, and build awareness of its programs to further widen coverage. With continued support from stakeholders, SBFI will eventually become the biggest builder of classrooms among corporate foundations. 

SBFI has provided opportunities for other companies and organizations to co-sponsor the cost of school buildings for donation to selected public schools. Interested individuals or institutions may visit bit.ly/SupportSBFIClassrooms for more information partnering with SBFI.

Established in August 25, 1993, SBFI is the corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Security Bank Corporation. Since its inception, SBFI has advocated for education as a long-term solution to poverty alleviation through its various programs such as classroom-building, continuous teacher training and development, and scholarships for deserving students. 

Read Security Bank Foundation’s feature spread at Philippine Daily Inquirer here.

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