Preparations for the simultaneous nationwide fun run on June 19 to celebrate the 150th birth of Dr. Jose Rizal is now in full swing as the Department of Education invites more participants to donate educational materials or volunteer time for education-related activities to benefit public schools nationwide.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that instead of participants paying registration fee, they are requested to bring donations or sign a pledge form stating what they can contribute to upgrade the standard of education in public schools.
“We all know how our national hero pushed for the education of the Filipinos and I am sure that a century after his death that remains his aspiration,” said Luistro.
Participants have a choice of 1-, 2-, or 3 kilometer walk or run. All the different divisions in the National Capital Region will have their fun run at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta starting at 6:00 am.
DepEd through its Adopt-A-School Program (ASP) will set up a booth for the acceptance of donations and to administer the pledge form. This will be replicated in all the regional and division offices nationwide.
Donations-in-kind could be school supplies (pencils, ball pens, ruled paper, notebooks, crayons, chalk, etc.); classroom furniture (chairs, tables, cabinets, etc.); equipment (fax machine, computers, printers, electric fans, etc.); classrooms; or shop equipment (for Industrial Arts, Home Economics, Agri-Fishing, etc.).
Volunteer man-days / labor support could be serving as a resource person for a particular subject; tutorial assistance; peer counseling; assistance to teachers (preparing visual aids, teacher aid); school maintenance and repairs; or teaching.
According to Merlie Asprer, ASP Operations Manager, they are now receiving confirmation of participation to the fun run from the private sector. “Employees of a telecommunications company, for one, have agreed to pool resources and buy educational materials which they will bring on June 19,” said Asprer.
Luistro expects to bring together education stakeholders in a spirit of fun and love for education. “This is a good physical exertion and at the same time an expression of compassion for our young learners who need our full support,” he explained.
More than 22 million public elementary and high school students trooped to public schools nationwide when classes opened last June 6. This includes some 1.2 million kindergarten pupils who form the first batch of universal kinder students under the K to 12 basic education reform program of the Aquino Administration. Official figures show that more than one million new entrants to the public schools system is accepted by DepEd every year.
The fun run will be spearheaded by all DepEd Division Offices (DOs) nationwide. All participating DOs will handle the preparatory work which shall include the organization of different committees to promote the activity as well as coordination with volunteers, sponsors and media.
Participants to the Fun Run will be asked to accomplish a pledge form to signify support to schools. Completed forms will be submitted to the Local Registration Committee. The pledges / actual donations will be accounted for and turned over to the schools.