PULILAN, BULACAN — SM Prime Holdings Inc. through SM Foundation turned over its 89th school building to Balatong Elementary Elementary School in Pulilan, Bulacan. With a population of 1,173 students, Balatong ES is the only public school that caters for three barangays namely: Penabatan, Tenejero, and Balatong.
The two-storey, four-classroom building comes with facilities designed to cater person with a disability such as a ramp and a toilet strictly for the PWDs.
To provide every student need, the building is furnished with 200 student armchairs, 20 of which are uniquely designed for left-handed students. The Foundation of These-Abled, a PWD association supported by SM, were the people behind the construction of armchairs, a manifestation of SM’s advocacy in supporting PWDs by a way of boosting their self-pride and self-esteem through the chairs they make. Moreover, every classroom comes with teacher’s tables, 16 wall fans for adequate ventilation, eight blackboards, four wall clocks and four toilets.
With the construction of the new school building, Balatong ES now has a classroom to students’ ratio of 1:46 compared to their initials ratio of 1:50, making way for a wider space conducive to learning. A population of 176 Grade 5 students will occupy the building.
SM representatives together with local government officials led by Pulilan Municipal Mayor Ma. Rosario Ochoa-Montejo attended the turnover ceremony. Joining them are DepEd Schools Division of Bulacan representative, Barangay Chairmans of Balatong, Penabatan, Tenejero and school officials.
“We need to search for partners, organizations, entities that give importance to education; and one that we saw, to whom we are very much thankful for here is SM Foundation, who gave us this chance, and help us resolve our shortage in classrooms” said Marcos Dela Cruz, representative from DepEd Schools Division of Bulacan.
“We all know the importance of good education. In addition to having a qualified and passionate teacher to the school, studying in an environment that is conclusive to learning is a key to quality education. With its new classrooms, more children in the communities will have access to good education.” SM Sangandaan Mall Manager Engr. Emmanuel Gatmaitan said. “Mr. Henry Sy Sr. himself believes that education is the best defense against poverty and if used and applied, it is the best weapon to change the world. We are glad that in this community, we help the youth achieve their dreams.”
Since 2002, SM Prime through SM Foundation has already built 89 school buildings with 284 classrooms nationwide. (RONDA Balita Online News)