In a constant pursuit to have lasting impact on Philippine education, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) and JG Summit Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Team spearheaded a virtual Juan Community Education Leadership Workshop Series with various Gokongwei Group Business Units that started last April 26, 2021. This workshop series aims to rally education champions within the group and work together to identify and address key education challenges in our Juan Communities.
Dubbed as Juan Community, this program is a collaboration among education key stakeholders, GBF, and Gokongwei Group Business Units in addressing the needs of learners and educators in its partner communities all over the country.
GBF recognizes that the ongoing health pandemic brought unprecedented consequences in Philippine education. This is why the Foundation intends to develop interventions in response to these challenges, apart from its existing scholarship programs for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education.
First virtual Juan Community Education Leadership Workshop with Gokongwei Group Business Units Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Champions, GBF Team led by its Executive Director Grace R. Colet, and Executive Director of Knowledge Community Benjie Vergel de Dios.
IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
The CSR champions from Universal Robina Corporation - Branded Consumer Foods Group (URC BCFG), Universal Robina Corporation - Flour and Pasta Division (URC Flour), Universal Robina Corporation - Sugar and Renewables Group (URC SURE), Robinsons Land Corporation (RLC), Legazpi Savings Bank (LSB), and JG Summit Petrochemicals Group (JGSPG), along with GBF representatives and the JG Summit CSR and Sustainability Team were equipped on how to select the communities which need their help most, how to assess these communities’ most pressing challenges especially when it comes to education, and how to come up with effective solutions to these identified pain points.
Community Needs Assessment
GBF representatives and CSR Champions of GG Business Units conducted several interviews with School Principals, Teachers, Parents, Students, and Barangay Officials to pinpoint the needs of school and community.
IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation
Armed with their learning from the workshop, the Juan Community (JC) Champions were able to conduct their own community assessments in identified areas in Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas, Albay, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Quezon, and Bacolod. Through a series of conversations with barangay officials, school principals, teachers, parents, students, and local government representatives, the JC Champions were able to have a deeper grasp of the issues and pain points of the schools and barangay communities especially during this pandemic.
Given the sudden shift from face-to-face to online classes, the education issues confronting the Filipino communities include: parents and students being unprepared for distance learning; challenges in measuring and validating learning which led to the confusion and stress for teachers; social isolation for both teachers and learners; and poor nutrition, among many others.
Once all the consultations are completed, the Juan Community team will regroup and brainstorm on the most appropriate and sustainable solutions to the pain points raised by their stakeholders.
GBF and the Gokongwei Group believe that with the right tools, mechanisms and approaches, driven by one purpose, no learner will be left behind as we move towards quality STEM education through Juan Communities, one community at a time.