Rain or shine, SM Foundation turned over schoolbuilding to Tuba Elementary School



By Rose de la Cruz


Notwithstanding the torrential rains and gusty winds last Aug. 9, SM Foundation Inc. turned over its schoolbulding donation (in partnership with Philippine Stock Exchange Foundation) to the Tuba Central School in Benguet.


This is the 94th schoolbuilding donated by the foundation, a new two-story classroom it built through the funds of SM Prime and PSE Foundation, a second partnership with the stock exchange.


Fully equipped with 200 armchairs (of which 20 are for left handers); four teachers’ desk sets, 16 wall fans, 8 concave blackboards, four wall clocks and four toilets inside the rooms plus a ramp and toilet for the disabled, the schoolbuilding will be a conducive learning center for 569 pupils from Grades 3 and 6, occupants of the ground floor classrooms and the senior high school for the second floor.


Located in Tuba, Benguet with a population of 7,144, the schoolbuilding will further enhance the already high academic achievements of the school, which through the years has been honing the talents of its studentry through quiz bees for Grades 1 to 6.


Present at the turnover were Tuba Mayor Clarita Sal-ongan; PSE Chief Operating Officer Atty. Roel Refran; SM Foundation Executive Director Debbie Sy and trustee Engr. Ramon Gil Macapagal; SM Foundation executive director for education Linda Atayde and Juris Soliman (head of schoolbuilding program); Marie Carolyn Verano, schools division superintendent Benguet Division of the Department of Education; SM Baguio Mall Manager, Rona Vida Correa; School principal Lucila Abance and Daisy Banawag, PTA president.


The 84-year old Tuba Central School is situated along the highway in Barangay Poblacion with a total land area of 5,657 sq.m. and is accessible by a jeepney or tricycle ride. It is 6 kms away from Baguio City and 11 kms. Away from the Benguet Schools Division Office.


Founded in 1935, the school is reputed as the learning center for young children with no human-induced or natural hazard taking place. Tuba Central School recorded high enrolment for the past 5 years, reaching 569 this year with 18 academic classrooms of which 15 are in good condition and three recommended for repair or rehabilitation. Each classroom holds 25 to 53 pupils for 2019 schoolyear.


Tuba Central School has 20 teachers with three of them competent master teachers, providing technical assistance to their fellow teachers (Teachers I, II, III).  The school had been providing staff development opportunities and privileges to teachers.


Always participating in competitions, Tuba Central School conducts quarterly Quiz Bee for Grades 3 to 6 and Spelling Bee for Grades 1 and 2 to hone their knowledge and competency. Called the “Battle of the Brains,” this special training prepares the students for competitions being held each year. With this strategy the school has received various awards and recognitions both in academic and co-curricular activities.


Tuba CS is the center of all the schools of the district of Tuba. It has produced winners in contests at the division, regional and national categories in journalism and sports. It has also contributed in making the municipality a recipient of the Seal of Good Education Governance in 2017-2018.


Good management with utmost care of the school finances with the support of teachers, parents, local government units of Tuba & Poblacion led to the successful implementation of school projects and programs.  Evidenced by the school awards and recognition received both in academics and extra-curricular activities.  This school has produced winners in competition in the division, and regional level. In fact, Tuba Central School was awarded as Champion/First place in the 2019 Grand Street Dance Competition, Elementary category during the 24th Panagbenga Flower Festival last March 2019 at Baguio City.


School principal Abance said she is grateful that the donation was given to Tuba Central School as this would address the problem of classroom shortage due to the increasing population of learners.


“This school building will serve as an avenue for the learners to be developed holistically in order to compete globally. As principal and steward of this institution, I assure you that we will do our part by using the facility properly, make it conducive for learning and child friendly,” Abance said.


PTA president Daisy Banawag said “our youth will surely benefit and learn a lot through the new fully furnished classrooms your generosity donated. Rest assured that we will do our part in caring, maintaining and cleaning these rooms you’ve provided for our youth,” she said.


Her message was echoed by student council president Allison Benito Gapungli who said “his building is a big help for all of us since our school population is growing and we need more rooms to accommodate us.”



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Friday, 21 February 2020
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