SBMA-Hanjin-GK village kids get first diploma
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Clad in their white graduation caps and togas, 37 nursery and pre-elementary graduates marched alongside their beaming parents recently and received their very first diplomas, signaling their entry to a higher level of education.
These are children of fisherfolk families who have made their homes at the Nagyantok relocation site in Barangay Cawag, Subic, Zambales, which since then had become the site of Korea’s Hanjin Heavy Industries Corp.-Philippines (HHIC-Phil), one of the world’s largest shipbuilding facilities.
The children are now among the proud graduates of the SBMA-Hanjin-GK Sibol School, which held its fourth commencement exercises on March 26.
The Sibol school was jointly built by volunteers from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Gawad Kalinga-Zambales chapter, as well as residents of Nagyantok, and it is jointly maintained by both institutions. Prior to its completion, classes were conducted in one of the houses of the residents.
With the assistance of four volunteer instructors and teachers and constant monitoring from the SBMA and GK, 19 nursery students aged 3-4 and 18 pre-elementary students aged 5-6 have successfully passed their respective levels this year.
In his congratulatory message for the occasion, SBMA administrator and CEO Armand Arreza congratulated the graduates and expressed the SBMA’s continuing support to educate the children of Nagyantok.
“I am hopeful that more underprivileged children will benefit from the Sibol values-oriented education program, as the children are our future and the hope of the entire nation,” remarked Arreza.
“There is nothing more worthwhile than the gift of education. The SBMA will always be here to support the school’s programs and endeavor towards achieving an educated populace,” he added.
Sibol School is a community-based pre-school education program that prepares children for their entry into the formal school system. It adopts a holistic approach to education by teaching basic subjects such as math, science, environment, art and religion while espousing positive Filipino values, such as love of God, country, neighbor and family.
The SBMA, as part of its corporate social responsibility thrust, has been conducting medical and dental missions and livelihood seminars for the residents of the village. More projects such as supplemental feedings for the schoolchildren, provision of school supplies for children, mentoring, and other outreach projects are also in the pipeline. (30)