SCG helps high school students
() - November 6, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Thousands of youth trooped back to school early in June with hopes of at least completing the prescribed elementary and secondary curriculum. However, in a report given by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), not even 70 percent will be able to finish high school. 

PBSP reported that only 87 out of 100 elementary school graduates progress to high school. Of the 87 high school enrollees, only 64 complete the four-year curriculum.

Philippine national achievement test results are just as alarming. On average, Filipino high school students score only 45 percent of the entire diagnostic test. This average score is 30 percent below the passing mark of 75 percent.  

The report also stated public school student drop-out rates are highest during the sophomore or second year. This dwindling attendance and dismal test results are mostly due to poverty and socio-economic limitations.

“It is quite common among poor families to rely on their children to help them around the house and take care of young siblings. Many are also expected to work in order to augment the family income. School is a disruption that not many parents welcome,” explained PBSP executive director Gil Salazar. 

Siam Cement Group (SCG), in partnership with the PBSP, has helped 200 second-year high school students in Bulacan, Batangas and Metro Manila to continue their education this school year. These SCG scholars are covered by the SCG “Share a Dream” program.

SCG “Share a Dream” scholarship program covers the scholar’s day-to-day needs such as school uniform, school supplies, allowances and other miscellaneous expenses for the entire school year.

SCG scholars also attended a pre-enrollment scholarship camp in preparation for the coming school year. This two-day camp oriented students on social interaction, values and leadership skills. The scholars’ parents also participated at the camp to help them appreciate the importance of their child’s education.

One major criterion for the scholarship program was an essay on family gratitude. Chaovalit Ekabut, SCG Paper president said, “Familial love and filial loyalty are some of the traits that we Thais have in common with Filipinos. We at SCG strongly believe that filial piety is the cornerstone of good citizenship. As they say, ‘charity begins at home’ and one cannot be a good employee or an exemplary member of society if one does not take that step towards helping one’s own family.”

SCG has implemented the “Share a Dream” scholarship grant to give back to the communities it does businesses with. The company hopes that through education-focused community initiatives such as “Share a Dream”, more high school students will be inspired to excel and stay in school.

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