Gokongwei Group Joins GBF's Juan Community Workshop to Aid Education System

By rallying support within the group, the workshop aims to address key education challenges

In the pursuit to have lasting impact on Philippine education, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation and JG Summit Holdings' Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Team spearheaded a virtual Juan Community Education Leadership Workshop Series for various business units of the Gokongwei Group. Launched on April 26, 2021, the workshop series aims to rally CSR champions within the group and have them work together to identify and address key education challenges in our Juan Communities. 

Juan Community

The Juan Community program is a collaboration among education key stakeholders, GBF, and Gokongwei Group Business Units to address the needs of learners and educators in their partner communities all over the country.  

GBF recognizes that the ongoing health pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the Philippine education system, requiring the development of adequate interventions in response to these obstacles apart from its existing scholarship programs for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. 

The first virtual Juan Community Education Leadership Workshop with the Gokongwei Group Business Units Corporate Social Responsibility Champions, the GBF Team led by Executive Director Grace R. Colet, and Knowledge Community Executive Director Benjie Vergel de Dios. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

The CSR champions from Universal Robina Corporation–Branded Consumer Foods Group, Universal Robina Corporation–Flour and Pasta DivisionUniversal Robina Corporation–Sugar and Renewables Group, Robinsons Land Corporation, Legazpi Savings Bank, and JG Summit Petrochemicals Group along with GBF representatives and the JG Summit CSR and Sustainability Team were taught how to select the communities which most need their help, how to assess these communities’ most pressing challenges, particularly in the area of education, and how to come up with effective solutions to address the identified pain points.

Community Assessment  

GBF representatives and CSR Champions of Gokongwei Group Business Units conducted several interviews with school principals, teachers, parents, students, and barangay officials to pinpoint the needs of both schools and communities. IMAGE Gokongwei Brothers Foundation

After the workshop, the Juan Community Champions were able to conduct their own community assessment in identified areas in Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas, Albay, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Quezon, and Bacolod. Through a series of conversations with barangay officials, school principals, school heads, teachers, parents, students, and local government representatives, the Juan Community Champions were able to develop a deeper grasp of the issues and needs of the schools and barangay communities, especially during this continuing health crisis. 

Given the sudden shift from face-to-face to online classes, the education-related issues confronting Filipino communities include: parents and students being unprepared for distance learning; challenges in measuring and validating learning, which have led to confusion and stress for teachers; social isolation of both teachers and learners; and poor nutrition, among others. 

Once all the consultations are completed, the Juan Community team will regroup and brainstorm on the most appropriate and sustainable solutions to the issues raised by their stakeholders.  

GBF and the Gokongwei Group believe that driven by one purpose and armed with the right tools, mechanism, and approach, no learner will be left behind as we move toward quality STEM education through Juan Community. 

This story originally appeared on gokongweibrothersfoundation.org. Minor edits have been made by the jgsummit.com.ph team