Dagupan City—Pupils at the East Central Integrated School in Dagupan City have reasons to be happy. The young learners will be attending classes in a new two-story, four classroom, Person With Disability (PWD)-friendly, and elevated school building donated by SM Prime through SM Foundation.
They would enjoy new geometrically-shaped and colored desks and tables, their own comfort rooms and fans to cool them from the warm dryness of the province throughout the year.
Their rooms are also shaded from the sun by the cool-colored curtains provided by the PTA. All four classrooms can comfortably accommodate 50 students (with each classroom at the top floor equipped with five left-handed desks and the rest right-handed desks; two wall fans, comfort rooms with lavabos; concave blackboards and teachers’ desks and tables).
The kindergarten rooms also have wall fans, toilets, concave blackboards and teachers’ desks and tables. The school building likewise has ramps and a dedicated toilet and washroom for the disabled at the ground floor. It is also emergency equipped with LED lights, emergency exits and fire extinguishers.
Turned over to school principal Dr. Reynaldo Barrozo and to local officials led by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, the new school building’s ground floor will be utilized by kindergarten pupils while the second floor has been assigned to Grade three students.
East Central is said to be the oldest operating school in Pangasinan. The school caters to two barangays—Mayombo and Herrera Perez—with a current student population of 2,300 and a teaching staff of 99.
For the elementary grades, the ratio of students per teacher is 1:35 but the ratio of high school is 1:55. The Principal however is confident that DepEd will increase the number of schoolteachers this coming school year.
Engr. Ramon Gil Macapagal, trustee of the SMFI and SMIC head of the corporate affairs and sustainability, said SM Foundation is committed to serve by supporting and empowering its host communities through education, healthcare, shelter, disaster response, farmers’ training, environmental programs and care for persons with special needs. “We work hand in hand with our communities to create opportunities and improve lives.”
The SM group has been working for a better tomorrow by helping realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
SM Foundation particularly focuses on the SDGs: No Poverty (SDG 1), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3) and Quality Education (SDG 4), Macapagal explained.
He asked the school administration to take good care of the schoolbuilding where future leaders of industry and government could come from. “SM wants to enhance the learning experience for students” so students will have memories worth recalling later in life.