Thursday, August 7, 2014

DepEd launches boats, bikes project for students in remote areas

PASIG CITY—It takes students at Sawmill Elementary School in Masbate up to four hours to get to school, Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a press briefing here yesterday.

Children from other areas are similarly situated. At Pangapuyan Elementary School in Talon-Talon, Zamboanga, for example, students have have to ride a boat for 90 minutes to reach school.

In response to this situation, the Department of Education (DepEd) partnered with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation and Bikes for the Philippines to launch the Pedals and Paddles Project, a campaign to bring boats and bikes to schoolchildren in far-flung areas, as part of its mandate to make education accessible for all.
Luistro said that the department remains committed to the delivery of quality basic education to Filipino learners—especially to those who live in areas where transportation remains a challenge.

“We want to let every student know that we have not forgotten them and that they are not alone,” he said.

The aim of the Pedals and Paddles Project is to ease the travel time of students through the distribution of boats and bicycles in communities that need them the most.

“This is a simple project but it will touch many lives,” he said.

He added that the heart of Pedals and Paddles Project lies in the people’s “personal commitment to the learner and community” to bring the school to the Filipino children.

Each boat costs Php10,000, while each bike costs Php2,000. Boats will be distributed to communities while the bikes will be given to students from Grades 7-12 and will come with an eight-day training module.

Donations for boats may be sent to the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc., through their BDO account (Peso Acct. #003170-134579 and Dollar Acct. # 103170-148588), and online through PayPal. Meanwhile, donations for bikes may be sent to Bikes for the Philippines Foundation, Inc. through their BDO accounts (Peso Acct. #5420-128374 and Dollar Acct. #10-5420-128803). For check donations abroad, interested parties can send their donations to Bikes for the Philippines through the following address: Jo Grant, Bikes for the Philippines, Inc., 15 Amber Rd, Westminster, MA 01473.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages at (+632) 633-7207, 638-8637, and 638-8639 or email the Adopt-A-School program ataspprogram.center@gmail.com. —With report from PIA/DepEd
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