George Vincent Gamayo, News, Communication Management Office
TONDO, MANILA - About 60 young and adult learners attended the on-site pilot run of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines’ Education on Wheels in Tondo, Manila.
Also known as Pamantasang Bayan, this initiative that started in October 2021 offers Bachelor of Science in Office Administration to marginalized sectors through the PUP Open University System (PUP OUS).
Marimar Eder, mother of two, said that the program brings hope to the unprivileged. “Wala po kaming panggastos. Bukod po sa libreng gamit, nakatungtong po kami sa kolehiyo (We cannot afford much. Apart from the free school supplies, we are fortunate enough to enter college),” she shared.
To date, 60 students grouped in two sections are enrolled in the program through Education on Wheels. Program Chair, Prof. Jonathan Florida, said that the pilot run was done in preparation for the hybrid classes beginning in October. “’Yung isang section ay dedicated sa day class, at ’yung isa ay sa night class para ma-accommodate natin ang single parents at mga nagtatrabaho (One section will be given day classes, and the other will be given night classes to accommodate the single parents and those who are working),” he explained.
Emphasizing quality and accessible education, PUP OUS Executive Director, Dr. Carmencita Castolo, said that the University aims to broaden the program by reaching out to more partners so that students will be given more benefits. “We bring education right at the doorsteps of our prospective students. At pagka-graduate nila, tutulungan din natin silang makahanap ng trabaho (We will help our students find jobs upon completion of the degree),” she said.
The university partnered with the Sandiwaan Center for Learning, a Non-Government Organization that provides basic and technical education to the poor, in identifying the pilot community in Manila. Meanwhile, the bus that was converted into a mobile classroom was donated by the Century Peak Corporation.
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