“Sampung piso, sampung buwan, sampung libong silid-aralan.” (Ten pesos for 10 months, 10,000 classrooms)
This is the slogan of TEN Moves, an initiative spearheaded by the 57-75 Movement, which includes the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd). The project aims to provide a solution to the country’s shortage of classrooms.
The movement was launched last Oct. 14 with a press conference at Filipinas Heritage Library, followed by a ceremony at the Ayala Triangle fountain area. On the panel to enlighten the media about TEN Moves were DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro, FSC; Cecilia Lopez, immediate past president of LCF; executive director Rapa Lopa of the PBSP; and LCF chairperson Mario Deriquito.
The lack of classrooms has been a prevailing issue in the country for as long as we can remember. Come June each year, when a new school year begins, complaints from teachers, parents and students arise about overpopulated classrooms, the media makes noise, and government officials offer promises to address their pleas. As the school year progresses though, the attention dies down and another school year passes without the necessary solutions being applied. The cycle begins again when the next school year comes around.
As of March 2011, the country is officially short of 66,800 classrooms. This figure is based on the ideal teacher-to-student ratio of 1:40. The shortage triggers other challenges in the student sector, such as poor student performance, lack of participation in class and an increase in drop-out rates.
According to executive director Lopa, who heads the construction team of the movement, the ideal DepEd standard classroom on the average costs around P600,000. The whole idea behind the program is to get two million Filipinos to donate P10 a day for 10 months, for the group to be able to build 10,000 classrooms.
“Of course, this figure is not to be taken literally,” Deriquito clarified. “We’ve received donations in bulk from individuals and corporations through our various donation channels. Any amount is greatly appreciated.”
In reality, TEN Moves’ target for 2012 is to build 45,000 classrooms, three-fourths of the actual shortage. And it won’t stop there. Once it achieves this objective, it plans to sustain its operations to be able to cater to the needs of the growing population past 2012.
“The spirit of Ten Moves (an acronym for ‘The Entire Nation Moves’) is to engage the population. We are not so focused on the money part; it’s more about the social capital of ensuring that two million Filipinos are able to do something and be engaged in education,” said Luistro.
“We’re saying maybe it’s time to move from being critics of those in government and actually investing in a solution to the country’s problems.”
Individuals may contribute to the TEN Moves campaign via the following channels: bank deposits to any BPI, BDO or Unionbank branches; online donations via credit card at the official website; and via mobile phone through G-Cash. More donation channels will be made available as the campaign progresses.
More information on donations and updates about the movement are available at www.tenmoves.org, and in their social-networking sites.
“Beyond building a classroom, we are building a nation,” said Luistro. All it takes is 10 moves.