Aboitiz Group ensure continued learning under ‘new normal’

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The Aboitiz Group, through its various business units (BUs), is helping Filipino teachers and students ease into the new normal of learning amid the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Recognizing the value of education especially during these trying times, the Aboitiz Group continues to find new and innovative ways to empower students to keep learning, and our modern-day heroes — our teachers be able to adapt – in the face of new challenges,” said Sabin M. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Group President and Chief Executive Officer.

Aboitiz banking and financial services unit Union Bank of the Philippines and its subsidiary, City Savings Bank, for one, has partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) to help train 800,000 public school teachers in using digital tools for blended learning through HEROES2021 (Help Educators Rise to Online Education for School Year 2020-2021).

Designed to help train public school teachers, UnionBank team members have volunteered to design webinars that complement HEROES2021 training modules.

HEROES2021 is a two-stage intensive training program aimed at rapidly building public school teachers’ capability for online teaching.

Further, Microsoft-certified UnionBank team members have volunteered to design easy-to-understand web seminars (webinars) that complement HEROES2021 training modules.

Webinar topics include flexible learning, engaging online learning activities, measuring learning outcomes, and exploring a live online class.

DepEd National Capital Region Director Malcolm Garma is hopeful HEROES2021 will boost the readiness of the public education sector to adapt to the new normal.

“We thank UnionBank and its subsidiary CitySavings for the HEROES2021 teacher training project. We all know that the use of printed modules for learning delivery is not sustainable in the long run given the costs and impact on the environment. Online learning is one of the solutions and now is the time to train our teachers,” Garma said.

UnionBank’s team member volunteers run at least three webinars a week, striving to reach more teachers in Visayas and Mindanao.

“By designing these support learning tools and scaling up delivery, UnionBank is introducing new ways of providing much-needed aid for our public school teachers so they may make learning easier via technology,” said Dave Devilles, UnionBank Vice President for Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Aside from UnionBank and CitySavings, HEROES2021 includes learning partners EduRescue Philippines, Akadasia Singapore, and Thames International.

CitySavings donated safety and sanitation essentials such as alcohol, sanitizers, disinfectants, handwashing facilities, face masks, gloves, thermal scanners during Brigada Eskwela.

Several handwashing facilities and items were turned over by UnionBank subsidiary CitySavings to help schools as classes reopen under the ‘new normal.’

To support DepEd’s Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan (LCP), CitySavings also provided other teaching and learning support materials to DepEd regional and division offices and schools nationwide.

To help in the production of learning materials under the ‘new normal,’ UnionBank subsidiary CitySavings donated a copying machine to DepEd Cordillera Administrative last July.

Also under the DepEd LCP, CitySavings launched last July Project Agile, a learning series for teachers that aims to equip teachers with tools and skills to efficiently collaborate and conduct classes online.

Meanwhile, AboitizPower and its various generation and distribution units have also been active with their respective education initiatives.

In Sablan and Bakun, Benguet and Sabangan, Mountain Province, AboitizPower recently launched online capacity-building activities for parents and teachers in partnership with the education foundation Synergeia.

AboitizPower unit Hedcor has distributed P150,000 worth of school supplies in Benguet. It also donated school supplies, a container van-turned-daycare center, refurbished classrooms, and medical supplies in areas outside Benguet.

Geothermal unit AP Renewables, Inc. and solar unit San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. also donated school and health supplies such as alcohol and thermal scanners to their respective beneficiary communities.

AboitizPower distribution utility Visayan Electric Co., Inc. provided printers and bond papers to its host communities while Davao Light & Power Co., Inc. turned over school supplies and hygiene kits to Barangay Lubogan in Toril, Davao City in support of the Department of Labor and Employment Region XI’s (DOLE-XI’s) AGAKKA (Alalay alang sa Ginikanan para sa Kalambuan sa Kabatan-onan). AGAKKA is an initiative under DOLE-XI’s Child Labor Prevention and Elimination Program.

Davao Light turned over school supplies and hygiene kits for DOLE Region XI’s AGAKKA project.

Likewise, Davao Light sought to empower Lumad youth by providing them college education scholarship grants, turning over P270,000 in aid to the Ateneo de Davao University’s community engagement arm Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue.

Davao Light turned over a total of P270,000 to aid Lumad youth beneficiaries of Ateneo de Davao University’s Mindanawon Initiatives for Cultural Dialogue. This ceremony was attended by (2nd from right) Davao Light President and COO Rodger Velasco and Davao Light Community Relations Manager Fermin Edillon (far right).

AboitizPower’s Commercial Operations BU donated school infrastructure and school supplies, while AboitizPower’s EnerZones donated school and health supplies.

The Aboitiz Group’s CSR arm Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. continues to assist nearly 860 students in secondary and tertiary levels in need of financial aid through its scholarship program.

Aside from its usual financial assistance, the foundation allowed monthly allowances to be converted to laptop subsidy for students who have limited means to purchase tools for online schooling.

The Aboitiz Foundation also donated 30,000 face masks to schools in Metro Manila and in Regions 3 and 7, in line with this year’s Brigada Eskwela.