In hopes of igniting the passion to support the online education of students and teachers, the student-leaders from the Pinag-Isang Lakas ng Samahan ng mga Progresibong Atenista (PIGLASAPAT) and Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) launched the initiative “Tulong Skwela PH” last week, aiming to raise necessary resources that will equip and prepare rural public schools in Mindanao.
“Tulong Skwela PH” seeks to provide aid for the Mindanaoan children in their education amidst the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. A donation drive for connectivity devices and educational materials was carried out by the said advocacy.
With the theme “Tuloy ang Pag-aaral. Tuloy ang Pag-asa!”, the donation drive requests for devices and learning materials such as home prepaid broadbands, electronic gadgets, and school supplies to support the students and teachers in their blended learning education.
The Tulong Skwela PH advocacy will have drop-off locations around Davao City and pick-up services to collect in-kind donations for the Mindanaoan youths up until September 12.
Various mechanisms and platforms were also made available where people can take part in the initiative. This is in preparation for the transition of classes on the online platform this October 5.
Kyle Gaite, Assistant Project Head, mentioned how the entire idea was rooted in the idea of giving back to the fellow Mindanaoan youth, especially in the current situation for modular and online education.
“At first, I saw posts on social media regarding the lack of budget for public schools here in Mindanao. Then I talked to Renz, the Tulong Skwela PH Project Head, that I want to do something to help, and surprisingly PIGLASAPAT already had a plan for it,” Gaite said.
“‘Para sa Ateneo, Para sa Lipunan’ is one of PIGLASAPAT’s core principles. With this, Tulong Skwela PH will give not only PIGLASAPAT a chance to help our fellow youth, but also people from different organizations in AdDU as well,” he added.
Renz Lacorte, SAMAHAN President and Tulong Skwela PH Project Head, shared that the realization of what student organizations in AdDU, like PIGLASAPAT, can do for the society is what inspired the #TulongSkwelaPH initiative.
“As someone who has seen the struggles of public school teachers, because my mom is a public school teacher, I can really attest that our schools need help,” Lacorte said.
According to Lacorte, the donation drive furthers the goal of the student organization by producing both tangible and intangible contributions to Mindanao communities.
“The mandate of piglas is simple – to serve, whatever it takes. We want to bring our org closer to people, not just to Ateneans, but to the people that Ateneans are called to serve.” Lacorte added.
Meanwhile, the SAMAHAN President also expressed how the organization was able to overcome the complications that came along with pushing through with the advocacy.
“Actually the challenge revolved on managing doubts about the project, if the project would succeed or not. However, the team was able to rally many support not just inside Ateneo, but from alumni and friends” he stated.