Investing in Education, Investing in the Future
SM Foundation ended 2015 on a high note as it welcomed another first for its college scholarship program—four of its most recent scholar-graduates topped the 2015 national licensure examinations for engineering. These students are part of SM Foundation’s most recent batch of scholar-graduates. Of the total of 264 graduates for school year 2014-2015, 62 of finished with latin honors and academic distinctions.
The college scholarship also welcomed its newest batch of SM scholars for school year 2015-2016, opening new doors and creating new opportunities for 267 public high school graduates. These students have now joined the program’s 1,500 current SM scholars and are now enrolled in SM Foundation’s 84 partner schools nationwide.
Aside from its college scholarship, SM Foundation also provides opportunities for technical-vocational education for qualified public high school graduates who would like to pursue higher education for a shorter period of study. The scholarship is offered to equip today’s youth the right skills and competencies to fulfil the needs of today’s competitive labor market.
Through its two partner schools—Punlaan School and Don Bosco Makati Technical Institution—SM Foundation offers technical-vocational courses such as Food and Beverage, Automobile Mechanic, Fitter Machinist, Electro-Mechanical Technician, and Refrigeration and Air-conditioning. A total of 148 technical-vocational scholars graduated last year from this program.
As of end 2015, SM Foundation has already supported a total of 2,627 students nationwide for both scholarships.
SM Foundation also continued to support public education through its School Building Program. In 2015, SM Foundation completed eight school buildings with 32 classrooms. Each building is a 2-storey, 4-classroom structure which came furnished with 200 student armchairs, 16 wall fans, eight blackboards, four teachers’ desk sets and four toilets.
One of last year’s beneficiaries is the Wawang Pulo Elementary School in Valenzuela. With 868 students enrolled in the school, each classroom serves an average of 40-60 students per classroom. Before the new school building was donated, students borrowed rooms from the nearby Wawang Pulo High School Building for their classes while students from the special education class made use of the 2nd floor hallway.
This new addition, donated by project partners SM Prime Holdings, Inc., SM Foundation and Deutsche Bank Ag Manila, created a better learning environment for the students by providing permanent rooms to 395 students, of which 15 are special education students.
SM Foundation also ensures that its donated school buildings are regularly maintained by repairing and renovating its school buildings after every five years. In 2015, SM Foundation repaired 6 school buildings.
By end of 2015, SM Foundation has already donated a total of 75 school buildings with 227 classrooms and repaired 24 school buildings with 58 classrooms since its school building program started.
SM Foundation believes that education is a person’s strongest weapon against poverty. As such, it continues to commit itself in investing in its education programs to empower the youth in creating more self-sustainable communities in the future.