Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Henry Sy Foundation Promotes Inclusive Education

Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) hand signs a gratitude message to Henry Sy Foundation (HSF), Department of Education, and Pasay Local Government after they collaborated for the revitalization of the 12-room laboratory building of Senior High School students.

The Philippines’ Magna Carta for Disabled Persons ensures the rehabilitation, self-development, and self-reliance of persons with disabilities. The country provides educational assistance to people with disabilities from primary to tertiary education, including vocational or technical training.
One such school is the Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) in Pasay City. For over a century, the school had demonstrated the transformative power of education in empowering and unlocking the capabilities of those with diverse disabilities to live fulfilling lives.
Though standing as a testament to the Philippines' long-standing commitment to differently-abled education, the school, one of Southeast Asia's oldest institutions for the deaf, suffers from the effects of time and wear, compromising its ability to fulfill its mission.

The school lacked basic amenities and accessibility features, including repurposed classrooms, worn-out hallways, little room for career training, shoddy furniture, crumbling ceilings and walls, broken faucets and tiles, and dim lighting. It had only one working toilet with a broken door that was termite-infested, and drainage issues made it prone to flooding.

Revitalizing a legacy
The Department of Education's Schools Division Office of Pasay City, the SM Foundation (SMFI), and the Henry Sy Foundation collaborated in a game-changing partnership to revitalize the Senior High School building and a four-story, 12-classroom structure. This project, carried out under the DepEd's adopt-a-school program, is proof of the ability of teamwork to revitalize educational infrastructure for the good of the community.

Teachers conduct lectures on electronics in a more conducive laboratory after the rehabilitation of the school building

The century-old school, which was previously hampered by inadequate facilities, now has improved classrooms for a variety of subjects, such as dressmaking, beauty care, cookery, electrical, bartending, food & beverage preparation, ICT, and dance. Remodeled was also the dance studio, which included a dressing room and conference room.

Through the social good collaboration, the laboratory for baking and cookery has been equipped with new tools and furniture, helping conduct more hands-on classes.

All across the campus, ramps and railings have been erected to improve accessibility and safety, allowing students to move around with ease. The SM group renovated the conference rooms and the lobby with a reception area in addition to revitalizing ten classrooms to create a welcoming atmosphere.

Differently abled students from PSD focus as they attend their beauty and cosmetology class in their new building.

A handwashing station and separate male and female restrooms were renovated with spotless, functional cubicles, urinals, and PWD-accessible amenities to promote good hygiene and healthy habits.
Restored with a roomy stage, the covered court offers an ideal setting for outdoor education and leisure. 

SM Foundation school building program head Juris Soliman and SMFI Project Supervisor Ar. Caren Lopez (fourth and fifth from left) with PSD Principal Shery Funcion and SDO Pasay City SGOD Sylwyn Tenorio (sixth and seventh from left) with the team behind the school’s refurbishment.

The PSD's renovated facilities aim to foster an environment where all students can succeed in addition to addressing physical challenges. The project is a prime example of the SM and Henry Sy Foundations' continued efforts to promote inclusivity and their dedication to using education to empower individuals with disabilities.

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