Answering the needs of left-handed students

SM Prime and SM Appliance, through the efforts of SM Foundation, turned over a new two-storey four-classroom building to Mayamot Elementary School in Antipolo City on January 31. The school building, fully furnished with 200 student armchairs (including 20 left-handed armchairs), 4 teacher’s desk sets, 8 blackboards, 16 wall fans, 4 wall clocks and 4 washrooms with water closets, will be used by sixth grade students.


Mayamot Elementary School students celebrate the opening of their new school building

It is the first time the school will have left-handed armchairs and a washroom in each classroom. SM Foundation Executive Director for Education Linda Atayde said the washroom in each classroom will provide better personal hygiene for the students. Twelve-year old Taimalica Dumalig Ripon excitedly said she now does not have to wait long in a queue to be able to relieve herself in the toilet.

Dan Navarro, one of the left-handed sixth grade students, was so happy that he will no longer be uncomfortable in class. He said, "Hindi na ako mahihirapan at mangangawit. Ako ngayon ay mas comfortable at mas makaka-concentrate.” His Filipino teacher, Melanie Agoceros, herself left-handed, was excited for the students, saying, "First time kami magkaroon ng left-handed armchair. Lumaki din akong nahihirapan na nakatalikod pag nagsusulat. Hindi na sila mahihirapan  ngayon."

Teacher Melanie and student Dan are both left-handed.

The event’s special guest, Congresswoman Chiqui-Roa Puno, who is also left-handed, shared that she never got to use any left-handed armchair and never had their own washroom in each classroom when she was studying. In her speech, she acknowledged, “Ang SM ay nagbibigay sa atin ng progreso. Nagkakaisa tayo sa ating adhikain na paunlarin ang ating distrito”. She expressed gratitude for what they have received and reminded the children to likewise share their blessings, saying, “Ngayong araw na ito, naiparamdam na maraming nagmamahal sa atin. Remember this day and then give back to the community, too.”

Dr. Rommel Bautista, Schools Division Superintendent, appreciated SM’s response to their needs, as he said, "Kayong mga taga-SM ay mga buhay na anghel. Salamat sa pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga silid-aralan. Huwag sana kayo magsawang tumulong.”

Aligned to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to provide access to quality education, SM Foundation develops fully furnished school buildings. This is the 87th school building, with a total of 276 classrooms, of the Foundation since it started its School Building Program in 2005.