From challenges to change: SM Foundation and SM Prime build new school facility in Laguna

The new two-floor school building of Laguna Resettlement Community School features four fully equipped rooms with PWD-friendly facilities.

Overcrowded classrooms, insufficient learning time, inadequately designed learning spaces, and teacher dissatisfaction pose challenges to the Philippine education system.

The challenges faced by the Philippine education system are multifaceted. With inadequate time for instruction, students are unable to grasp concepts thoroughly, leading to a compromised educational experience. Non-conducive learning environments contribute to an atmosphere that hampers intellectual growth. These challenges not only impact students’ academic performance but also the job satisfaction of teachers, who navigate these obstacles daily.

Believing in the power of education, the SM group, through the collaboration of SM Prime and SM Foundation, continuously builds school buildings to help address the challenges faced by the education system in the Philippines. A testament to this is the school building they recently built at the Laguna Resettlement Community School (LRCS).

Beyond the structure

LRCS has a sheer number of over 2,600 students packed into 52 classrooms, which Principal Rosalie Mabale says affects the performance of the learners and the job satisfaction of teachers.

The school day for some pupils in grades 1 and 2 extends until 6 pm, an unusually late hour for elementary school. This extended schedule leads to long working hours for teachers, leaving them with limited time to provide additional support to students who need it most.

“The intervention classes are very important as we intervene with the problems that may come along the way of learning. Ginagawa natin ito para hindi pa man dumarating ang problema, nabibigyan na natin ng solusyon,” Principal Rosalie shared, adding that lack of facilities hamper them from providing the quality of education they hope to give.

“Let’s say you have learners who are non-readers or non-numerates at natutukan sila dahil mayroon kang maayos na silid-aralan. Through this, masasabi mong you were able to make a difference in the lives of the learners kapag natuto silang magbasa at magsulat. Mabo-boost natin ang kanilang academic performance at maiiwasan natin ang bullying, na siyang makakatulong sa kanilang mental health,” she added.

By providing spacious and well-equipped facilities, students now have room for growth, fostering an environment conducive to effective learning. The expansion of school infrastructures has allowed LRCS to end class shifts in second grade, ensuring that students receive the adequate learning time necessary for a more comprehensive education.

LRCS ends the class shifting for second grade, providing pupils ample time for learning activities and helping enable job satisfaction among teachers.

“Napakalaking factor na makakauwi na ang mga bata ng mas maaga at makakapahinga ang mga teachers sa tamang oras. Malaking factor ito sa mental health, quality of education, academic performance, and overall wellness of the children and teachers,” she smiled.

For LRCS, their new school building goes beyond the physical structure—it’s a symbol of something that is built to last.

"This building is not just about the school structure or the conducive learning environment. Ang pinakamalaking epekto nito ay nasa pagkatao ng mga bata. Through this building, they will be reminded that they are the next generation and the future leaders of the country, and they, too, can help the community they belong to," she shared.

"Through their programs, they are making a difference in the lives of every Filipino learner, especially here in LRCS. Having this building helps nurture better individuals as they see that they belong to a community that genuinely cares for them. Initiatives like this help them learn about civic responsibility. When learners achieve their goals in the future, they will remember the value of giving back to the community," she added.

SM Prime and SM Foundation turns over the new school building in LRCS, helping the students receive adequate learning time necessary for a more comprehensive education.