SM Prime Turns over 86th School Building

( Students queue to hand their letter of thanks to SM Foundation Executive Director for Education Carmen Linda Atayde.) 

By Neny Regino
 
Puerto Princesa City – The Francisco Ubay Memorial Elementary School in Puerto Princesa home to  2,400 students from Brgys. Tagburos, San Manuel, Santa Monica & San Jose is the recipient of SM Foundation’s 86th school building under its school building program. 
The school building, a donation from SM PRIME through SM FOUNDATION is the first school building turned over by the Foundation in Palawan’s capital. The two-story, four-classroom building is PWD-friendly with ramp and toilet strictly for the use of persons with disability. The building is furnished with 200 student armchairs, 20 of which are designed for left-handed students, sets of teacher’s table and chairs all made by the These-Abled, a PWD association supported by SM, 16 wall fans, 8 blackboards, 4 wall clocks and four toilets.  
The new school building augments the number of classrooms in the Francisco Ubay Memorial Elementary School, the third largest school in the city in terms of student population with 89 belonging to the indigenous community. The school also hosts 69 Muslim students who are attending Arabic Language Islamic Values Education classes. The school building donation is very timely as three buildings in the school campus with six classrooms are scheduled for demolition. Grades 3 and 5 students will occupy the SM school building.
According to Abner Jason Malacao, PTA President, the school still lacks 24 classrooms as one classroom has been converted into a school canteen while one classroom is used as the Principal’s office. Due to the shortage of classrooms, classes are held in shifts.  Eva Guzman, Master teacher of Grade 6 says there are 2 shifts in Grade 1 and  2 while Grades 3 – 5 are “fused” meaning one section is distributed to other sections.  There are 9 sections in Grade 6 but they only have 7 classrooms so teachers “borrow” classrooms from other  during recess time or during “lull” times.  In between, students are distributed to other sections.
The turnover ceremony was attended by school principal who was represented by Eva Guzman; SM Foundation Executive Director for Education, Carmen Linda Atayde; Brgy. Captain Estrella Salvador representing the LGU who gave an inspirational message; and DepEd Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Elsie T. Barrios. Also in attendance was SM Supermalls Assistant  Mall Manager Dondon Rodrigo.  
The turnover was festive with students eagerly peeking into the new classrooms they will be using. Students performed a special dance number complete with costumes. A Plaque of Appreciation for  Henry Sy Sr. was received by Atayde. At the end of the turnover ceremony, students from Grades 3 and 5 gifted SM Foundation with letters of appreciation and gratitude they wrote and handed over to Atayde. The very active PTA whose members are raising funds for the school’s fence also gave tokens to the Foundation.
 

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