Legazpi City—Bitano Elementary School in Legazpi City is among the public schools affected by the shortage of classrooms that has resulted in overcrowded classrooms or classes conducted by shifts.
The school could not provide the conducive learning environment for its 693 students from Kindergarten to Grade VI. According to school Principal Leonila D. Ante, the students in the morning shift have to wake up early and take late lunch, while those in the afternoon shift have to go home late in the afternoon, after 6 pm.
The shifting for Kinder and Grade 3 students has been resolved with the new two-story four-classroom school building donated by SM Prime Holdings through SM Foundation. The classrooms are fully furnished with 200 arm chairs, four teacher’s desk sets, 16 wall fans, eight blackboards, four wall clocks, and four toilets.
The new school building is persons with disability-friendly. The building is equipped with 20 armchairs designed for left-handed students. a PWD ramp and a special comfort room for PWDs.
To help in disaster management, SM Foundation and its school building team provided the school with an emergency light, an alarm bell and emergency exit stairs. DepEd, on the other hand, provided fire extinguishers for the classrooms.
In support of DepEd’s new advocacy Project WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty), SM Foundation also donated 16 more wall clocks for the 16 other classrooms of Bitano Elementary School.
Through SM Legazpi, Group Commander LTC Ulysses S. Mancao and Deputy Group Commander LTC Ronald E. Gaboy of the Philippine Air Force Tactical Operations Group 5 (TOG5) donated 12 trash bins to the school, as part of their community relations environmental project.
In her message of thanks, Ante said: “This [school building] is a great gift to our learners. We’ve lacked classrooms for the longest time making an unfriendly atmosphere to our pupils and teachers.” A bonus is the fully furnished classrooms, since school building donation is usually just the building, she added.
Legazpi Mayor Noel Rosal said Bitano Elementary “will be the benchmark of all schools that the City government will build in the city.” He made particular mention of the schooldesks made by the Foundation of the These-Abled, well-built and designed to be sturdy, but most important, helping boost the morale and self-pride of the PWDs as well.
GPTA president Maria Lorica promised that the classrooms “will be taken care of so that it can continuously serve as sanctuary of knowledge and skills development for future learners.”
SM Foundation’s school building program is aligned with the UN Sustainable Goal of providing access to quality education. It is being undertaken under the government’s Adopt-A-School program.
The school building donated to Bitano Elementary School is the 90th school building donated by SM Foundation, bringing the total number of classrooms donated to 288 nationwide since 2002.