The Philippine School for the Deaf (PSD) has been a cornerstone of the deaf community in the Philippines and throughout Asia.
Established in 1907, PSD has a long and proud history of providing educational opportunities for deaf students. As the only government-owned institution for the deaf in the country, it plays an essential role in empowering individuals with hearing impairments and fostering their inclusion in society.
Years of dedicated use had taken its toll on PSD’s facilities, leaving them in need of significant refurbishment. This was particularly true for the senior high school laboratory building, which was in dire need of rehabilitation.
“Our challenges include the rehabilitation, major repairs, and maintenance of the school facilities and buildings,” PSD principal Shery Funcion said. “Because of these, limited ‘yung mga magagawa ng ating mga learners. The teachers cannot really maximize the tasks and activities they give to the students.”
“Before the rehabilitation, alongside other challenges, we had issues with the ventilation and the lighting inside the senior high school laboratory building. Dahil mainit at madilim, nahihirapan ang mga guro gawing effective at efficient ang kanilang pagtuturo,” she said.
Creating an inclusive learning hub
With the common goal of empowering the youth and fostering a culture of achievement, the Henry Sy Foundation and SM Foundation collaborated with DepEd’s School’s Division Office-Pasay and Pasay Local Government Unit to strengthen the capabilities of PSD students.
Through social good collaboration, the Foundations ensured that the infrastructural limitations of the past were replaced with modern learning spaces specifically designed for practical subjects like dressmaking, electronics, and IT.
A dedicated dance studio with a dressing room and a conference room provides spaces for creative expression and collaboration. New tools and furniture in the baking and cookery laboratory facilitate hands-on learning, while thoughtfully placed ramps and railings ensure accessibility for all students.
A handwashing station and PWD-friendly toilets have been rehabilitated with clean, functional amenities The restored covered court, complete with a spacious stage, creates a dynamic area for outdoor learning and recreation.
For Principal Shery, the SM group’s contribution went beyond the classrooms. “Part of our program is to equip our students with essential skills and competencies to help them pursue their careers outside the four walls of the classroom.”
“And the rehabilitation of the entire building helped with that. Most especially in the home economics laboratories, maayos na nilang magagawa ang mga performance tasks nila. Mai-apply nila ang mga concepts na natutunan nila sa loob ng classrooms, giving the opportunity to hone their skills and competencies.”
With the completion of the building, the Henry Sy Foundation ushers in a new era of diverse and upgraded learning spaces—one that amplifies the often unheard calls of differently abled members of the community.