DISCLAIMER – The following Article contains specific opinions on Humanitarian Projects and Programs that are solely those of the Author. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper or GIDIFA.
When it comes to education, the current facilities are ... lacking. GIDIFA is currently in negotiations and has successfully concluded some negotiations for the initial phase of the construction to eventually include the construction of more than two thousand new schools in the Philippines. While it may take a major reformation of the entire educational system to allow for each and every student to reach their full potential, that is a more time-consuming and multi-generational process that will not be the focus of this article. However, while a great many wonderful programs are being put in place, it would seem that there are still some other considerations that should be examined more closely as well. Even if the opinions are not brought into play when construction does begin, it is not seen that there is any hazard or detrimental impact from looking at the ideas and concepts presented.
All of the schools that will be built will of course, come with all of the most contemporary and state-of-the-art computer equipment. This is certainly important and relevant to the ability of the children to receive an education. As technology advances even more, this should allow for an additional array of benefits to the students as well. Libraries can be digitized and computer access will allow for the integration of educational programs and other software solutions to aid in the educational process. It is very possible, if not likely that the educational system can by and large be placed on a cloud-based platform and education made available to even the most isolated and hard to reach, smaller communities where the focus is currently on virtually anything other than scholastic education.
The buildings that will be constructed, will, by and large be built with contemporary and even innovative materials and designs. The days of the hollow-block rectangles is long overdue for much more than a simple face-lift. These new school constructions will be both aesthetically pleasing and safe and secure. New and improved materials and new and innovative designs will be used in conjunction, each with the other, to create environments that are substantially more conducive to education and much less reminiscent of a jail cell, barren of any feeling or real substance. Further exterior enhancements are scheduled to be built in many of these schools to add even more “feeling” into the equation and to make the schools more appealing and more relaxing, making for better learning environments.
Again, and just for the record, this is only the opinion of the author. It seems as if there is anything missing in the vast majority of designs, that there should be a commercial kitchen facility in each of the schools, even if it is not wholly equipped for the foreseeable future. Students need to eat and countless studies have shown that those students that have a healthy breakfast and/or lunch are going to do much better in their educational pursuits. Just the kitchen alone however, would not be sufficient and that is, certainly in large part, why so many of the designs are lacking this feature. There also needs to be a national feeding program in place that has the capacity and ability to provide food if not at least precooked meals to the schools in question.
Many of these programs are already in place and/or in the works at least. The Isolated Community Service Centers will be producing a surplus of foods and services that have to be distributed without disrupting the local economic systems. Since there is no current feeding program in place, having someone to provide for the necessary goods and services does not exactly provide any direct benefit to the local vendors, but neither does it create any instability in the local markets or the prices. Conversely, the additional jobs and services that it creates will provide directly for the benefit of the local community. There will also be a great many new Colleges and Universities with a focus on Livestock and Agricultural pursuits, food security and other related fields who will also need new markets if they are to prevent undue influence in the current market system. Additional projects and programs are also scheduled to include a great many “commercial” ventures (though without the focus on the traditional for-profit models, but that is getting into materials that require a lengthy explanation) that will also be able to provide foods and services at or below the wholesale prices. Perhaps when those programs become more common and readily available, the feeding programs can begin in earnest.