Aboitiz educational enhancement project now in Southern Mindanao

ABOITIZ firms Davao Light and Power Co. and Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP), Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. and the Department of Education (DepEd) Region 11 have joined hands in bringing a novel education enhancement project to the Southern Mindanao region.
The project titled The UnionBank Learning System: Developmental Reading Integrated with Values for Good Citizenship, is the initiative of the Aboitiz-led banking institution. It was officially launched in Manila two years ago by the bank’s Philanthropy and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) unit with DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapuz. Last year it was brought to Cebu. This year it will be implemented farther down to Mindanao. Targets are schools in the Zamboanga-Tawi-tawi area, Sarangani Province, and now the Davao region, including Davao City. The project roll-out is targetted on August 17.
Maria G. Goolsby, special assistant to the UBP chair and head of the bank’s CSR unit, said the project will produce specialized teaching and reading materials in the English subject for Grade 2 pupils, with values education integrated in it. Under the basic education curriculum, the project is to take about 90 minutes allotted to English, starting on the onset of the second grading period. The reading competency and the values inculcation level are to be assessed and evaluated to form part of the grades of the pupil’s grade for the same period.
The partnership among Davao Light, the UnionBank, Aboitiz Foundation and DepEd was formalized with the signing of a memorandum of agreement at the education department’s regional office along Torres St., Davao City last June 30, 2009. Signatories to the agreement were Ms. Goolsby for Union Bank, Manuel M. Orig for Davao Light, Augusto P.I. Carpio III for Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., and Ms. Susana Teresa B. Estigoy, regional director, for DepEd 11.
Davao Light, being a leading member of the Aboitiz Group with operation in Davao City and in Panabo City, Carmen, Dujali and Sto. Tomas towns in Davao del Norte, will be supporting Union Bank in coordinating with DepEd in the implementation of the reading enhancement project, including monitoring and evaluation. It will also work hand-in-hand with local Union Bank branches through 1st VP Amado B. Castano Jr. in providing other support that may be needed.
For its part, the Foundation, in coordination with Union Bank, facilitates funding some of the activities in the project implementation stage. It shall also assist the bank in the fund utilization reporting to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The DepEd will ensure that Grade 2 teachers, principals, English and values subjects coordinators are properly oriented on the project implementation process. It shall also see to it that the reading and teaching materials, including the multi-media system that is part of the learning package, reach the intended end-users and properly taken cared of.