A week after the launch of World Vision’s Abutin Na10 (to be read as ‘na-ten’) campaign, DepEd Las Piñas initiated a city-wide advocacy drive among its stakeholders to support the country’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan.
“We are a family under one country so we ought to be compassionate for others who are in need, especially the most vulnerable children,” said Dr. Joel Torrecampo, Superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd) Schools Division Office of Las Piñas City.
Dr. Torrecampo, known by his colleagues to be hands-on and tech-savvy, immediately posted an appeal to his social media groups followed mostly by his fellow DepEd officials and school heads. He led a simple voluntary ‘pass the hat’ initiative to help last-mile learners cope with the impact of COVID-19.
In less than two weeks, they were able to raise Php 70,000, which they turned over to World Vision Education Manager Geomel P. Jetonzo and DepEd Undersecretary for Legislative Liaison Office, External Partnerships Service and Project Management Service, Atty. Tonisito M.C. Umali, Esq.
In a recent return of blessing to the school division’s initiative, the local government of Las Piñas recently confirmed the provision of educational equipment, gadgets and hygiene kits to be used by its teachers and students while in the new normal.
“I believe it is our collective resolve here in Las Piñas City, our students and their parents, teachers and principals, together with our local government, to be of humble service to those in dire need, so our children will be able to reach their dreams, and not stop schooling because of this pandemic,” shared Dr. Torrecampo, who in his younger years endured walking several kilometres just to attend and eventually finish school. Believing that this pandemic has opened a horizon of generosity, he decided to support schools of other provinces through the Abutin Na10 fund drive.
World Vision Philippines National Director Rommel V. Fuerte shared that “our rapid impact assessment reveals that one of the top most critical problems faced by children and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic is education opportunities, aside from food security and access to health care.”
Of the children respondents, 21% said they are either unwilling or unsure to attend school (face-to-face or blended learning) when classes start this August. The other 89% of those surveyed anticipate challenges on the use of online learning platforms while 38% do not have access to internet. Their parents share the same sentiments including the absence of gadgets.
It is because of these challenges and many others that World Vision Philippines and the Department of Education partnered for Abutin Na10: Para sa Sampung Milyong Mag-aaral, Sampung Piso, Sampung Araw, Sampung Milyong Pilipino.
““With millions of Filipinos taking part in this endeavor, last-mile learners can continue their education while ensuring that their lives are not at risk due to COVID-19,” Fuerte shared. He explained that the funds will be used by DepEd for the printing of self-learning materials and/or procurement of gadgets to support the children’s blended or distance learning from home.
During the campaign launch Abutin Na10, no less than the DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones commended this worthy effort and asserted that “education must continue with or without the threat of the COVID-19 because it is perhaps the greatest legacy we can leave our learners and our children.” The education chief also said that we should ensure that “the health, safety and well-being of learners, teachers and personnel are protected.”