The Department of Education-Partnership of Employees and Non-teaching Staff of the Department of Education (DepEd-PENS) launched its 'Opensa Kontra Kakulangan sa Edukasyon' (OKKE) project aimed at extending aid to poor but deserving students in the country.
The launch was held during the organization's first national convention from Aug. 24 to 27 at Teachers Camp, Baguio City which was attended by almost 700 locally paid and nationally paid non-teaching personnel from all over the country.
The project aims to provide assistance to less privileged but deserving public school students from the far-flung areas of the country through distribution of shoes, notebooks, pencils, pad papers, crayons, reading materials, etc. through its partners in the school level.
“This Project O.K.K.E. was conceived by DepEd-PENS during regional consultation with our regional partners. During the tour, we were able to witness students in Romblon going to school with old and worn-out slippers, few notebooks and school bags with almost nothing inside. In Zambales, we saw an Aeta student enthusiastically attending school barefooted in the classroom and this motivated us to help them so they could sustain their eagerness to learn. We started this endeavor in Taguig City so that other rich cities in Metro Manila will follow suit through our PENS partners in every division in the National Capital Region (NCR),” Dr. George Tizon, DEpEd-PENS National President said in a statement Sunday.
The donations were gathered through a campaign drive initiated by DepEd-PENS Taguig City Chapter by putting up donations boxes for old and unused schools supplies for the benefit of less fortunate students in other public schools. Other City PENS organization followed suit and put up their own campaign to encourage well-provided students to donate used or excess school supplies.
Earlier, the cities in NCR with the highest PENS delegates including Taguig, Caloocan, Quezon City and Manila committed to implement the donation of schools supplies campaign in their respective cities for the benefit of poor public school students in the province.
The organization is set to distibute school supplies to students of Iram Elementary School in Olongapo City, Zambales on September 18.
Around 630 students will receive shoes, notebooks, pencils, pens and reading materials from DepEd-PENS to encourage Aeta students to continue their studies and not to allow poverty hinder their future.
Several schools from other areas such as Cagayan de Oro City, Romblon, Bicol and Leyte are also slated to benefit from the project.
The DepEd-PENS also launched another program dubbed as Depensa sa Kahirapan, Sama Samang Pagtutulungan (Oplan dePENsa) Livelihood Program where it awarded a livelihood package amounting to PHP100,00 from the proceeds of the convention to a deserving school division to start a cooperative for the non-teaching personnel of that school division. This year’s lucky recipient is the Schools Division Office of Ligao City, Albay.
“The primary goal of DepEd-PENS is to raise the morale of the rank and file employees and the non-teaching staff of the Department of Education and one way of doing this is by showing them that we are here to help them improve their standard of living in the workplace and encourage them to put up Cooperative that will be patronized by the non-teaching personnel who will eventually benefit from it financially,” Tizon noted.