Amid the economic challenges and the shift to online learning prompted by the pandemic, Sun Life Financial-Philippines Foundation, Inc. (Sun Life Foundation) is boosting its education-related initiatives to empower Filipino students and teachers in these crucial times.
“The economic impact, the closure of schools, and the rapid adoption of a new learning system have increased the pressure upon Filipino students and teachers, putting many of them at a disadvantage,” says Alex Narciso, President of Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. and Sun Life Foundation. “By increasing our efforts related to education, we hope to alleviate the difficulties that our fellow Filipinos are experiencing as we all work together to overcome this crisis. This is just part of our commitment to be the Filipino’s lifetime partner as we all rise together to build a stronger nation.”
Supporting 125 scholars in Cebu
One of these programs is a comprehensive educational scholarship program for 125 elementary and high school students in the municipalities of Minglanilla, Alegria, and Daanbantayan in the province of Cebu.
The program, initiated with non-governmental humanitarian organization Children of Asia, was launched in 2020 as part of Sun Life Philippines’ 125th anniversary.
Apart from the scholarship program, career orientations were likewise held to help the students choose the right career path, as well as supplementary courses like soft skills training to prepare them for higher education.
As a holistic program, the project’s goals do not end with the child’s education. It also looks after the child-beneficiary’s health and physical welfare by providing cash assistance for food and medical needs. On top of these, the program also includes support for the psychological, emotional, and even child protection to keep the children protected from malicious online content and individuals.
Easing public school teachers’ difficulties in the new normal
Sun Life Foundation also joined forces with AHA! Learning Center in organizing the Tulong Eskwela, a program designed to empower public school teachers as the mode of education shifts from face-to-face to online classes.
Tulong Eskwela is a text-based program that assists public school teachers in creating virtual classrooms that bolster DepEd’s learning packets, guides schools in working with parents in co-creating more authentic assessments, and assists students in developing positive study
habits. The program also creates an ecosystem of stakeholders that can form community based learning and funding opportunities for public schools as well as its students.
“In these difficult times, unity and compassion will go a long way in helping others cope with the situation,” Mr. Narciso said. “We thank our partner organizations for their support in these endeavors. Moreover, Sun Life Foundation will continue to explore ways that we can be a ray of sunshine to our fellow Filipinos.”