Aboitiz Foundation, TMO aid in transformation of Navotas tech-voc HS

The Aboitiz Foundation and Aboitiz Power Corp. unit Therma Mobile Inc. (TMO) helped a technical-vocational (tech-voc) high school in Navotas provide better employability to its students through an improved learning environment.

San Rafael Tech-Voc High School in Barangay North Bay, Navotas, was once considered a DDU (depressed, deprived and underserved) school in Navotas. However, the institution was able to turn this around, now gaining various accolades, including its title as the city’s top performing school in the National Achievement Test, and the “Exceptional School for NCR” award from the Department of Education from 2014 to 2016.

According to Jojie Fernando, secondary principal at San Rafael Tech-Voc HS, it took a combination of assistance from the city government and the Aboitiz Foundation, to realize the school’s current status.

The Foundation and TMO assisted the school in the refurbishment of classrooms into baking and cookery, dress-making, and cosmetology laboratories, which over 900 students in all levels are currently utilizing. The Aboitiz Foundation also donated the equipment needed for each vocational class.

“It was a big turnaround for us — the mindset has totally changed for both teachers and students. We have a caring and nurturing school environment with zero cases of drugs, teenage pregnancies, even bullying.”

-Jojie Fernando, secondary principal, San Rafael Tech-Voc HS

The Aboitiz Foundation and TMO also assisted nine teachers with tech-voc training, with 98% of San Rafael Tech Voc HS’s faculty and administration, including department heads, currently being National Certificate II (NCII)-trained and certified by the Technical and Educational Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

San Rafael Tech-Voc HS is now setting its sight on a new target — to be certified as an assessment center to ease the burden for students and teachers in paying certification fees. Construction is also ongoing for new carpentry and welding laboratories and a four-storey classroom building.

“We are proud of what San Rafael Tech-Voc HS has become, and equally excited for what it can still accomplish. The Aboitiz Foundation will continue to provide support to our partner schools as we co-create communities that are safe, empowered, and sustainable—driving change for a better world.”

-Maribeth Marasigan, First Vice President and COO, Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Foundation has long been a staunch supporter of Philippine education reform, believing education is where the Group can make the biggest impact. The Foundation’s most important goal is to achieve universal public education by establishing more Aboitiz BetterWorld schools that promise a better learning environment. This, in turn, supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically on Quality Education (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all).