CENTER OF EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
Year after year, bright children from economically disadvantaged families are never truly given the chance for a better future. Left unnoticed, these children are never able to realize their full potentials, much less discover them.
What has to be done is to give promising children from economically disadvantaged families all the opportunities of a superior education.
CENTEX is premised on the belief that, by improving the physical, financial, and human resources one could transform an ordinary public elementary school into a center of excellence comparable to the best private schools but accessible to children of under resourced families.
CENTEX is a collaborative project between corporate funders, Ayala Foundation Inc., the local or provincial government where the school is located, the Department of Education and volunteers. Each can learn much from each other, break the cultural, work and economic barriers between them and ultimately the economic divide on all levels.
It is a reality that a country can only be as progressive as its people. Economic development that benefits only the top echelons of society will not last and cannot be sustained. To be viable and sustainable, a vast majority of the population must benefit from development as well. It is a fact that the majority of Filipinos are below the poverty level. This severely hampers all kinds of growth in the Philippines. The scope of CENTEX is to prepare a graduate who will be equipped with the learning and study skills and who, being intellectually confident, will have the ability to confront the moral and social challenges of the Philippines and also the complex global society. Centex offers educational growth in the spiritual, psychological, intellectual, social and physical realms to safeguard the dignity of the whole child thus enabling this child to be a fearless servant leader.
It is undeniable that public education in the Philippines faces challenges in its effort to reform, restructure, and revive its present school system. These are the educational challenges that must be addressed if schools are to be responsible for producing the quality work force and leaders of the Philippines:
The emergence of technology as an integral teaching tool created a wider gap between private and public schools. CENTEX commits itself to narrowing this gap by redesigning its curriculum and giving technology prominence across all subject areas. The intent of CENTEX is to ensure that all its students become successful, lifelong learners prepared for the complex challenges of the information age of the 21st century. It is difficult to imagine that this goal could be fulfilled without the instructional and management systems taking advantage of the current and emerging technologies.
- An increase in the number of years of average schooling.
- A curricular shift to develop more technically proficient graduates specifically in the fields of Math and the Sciences.
- A return to Basic English to guard against further erosion of the English language.
- A focus on on-going teachers training to improve the quality of teaching and bring it up to global standards
- A concentration on the overall improvement of school-based infrastructure
Education can be a great democratizing factor in opening up the opportunities of the new millennium to all Filipinos. If the CENTEX concept is put into operation and replicated in other parts of the country, more children from marginalized families will be ready to take on the challenge of a higher education. In about 15 years, the country will harvest the first CENTEX graduates ready to take a lead role in bringing the development of our country down to the urban and rural communities from where they come.