Like many aspects of our lives today, the challenges in establishing a new normal in education is colossal. How do we give quality education to our students regardless of economic status?

Prior to the start of the First Semester AY 2020-2021, incoming IMSP students answered a series of surveys regarding their technological access for remote learning. It was found out that several of these students lack appropriate devices and needing financial assistance for remote learning. Thus, the IMSP Director’s Office through its Scholarships, Honors and Awards Committee launched the IMSP Adopt-a-Student Program. Dr. Editha C. Jose, the IMSP Director and the brain behind this program, describes it as “the Institute’s little way to help our underprivileged students and alleviate their difficult conditions as they shift to remote learning. It is also a platform to connect with our generous alumni who are willing to extend their support to their young brothers or sisters in the Institute.” How does the program work? An alumnus can pledge to donate cash (any amount) or devices such as laptops, tablets or smartphones. A student is then paired to an alumnus when their need matches the alumnus’ pledge.

Two members of SMM-UPLB donating three laptops through the Dr. Jose (right). Photograph taken: October 6, 2020

 

One of  the alumni (BS MATH, class of 1995) who responded to the call of support said, “This is just my own small way of giving back to my beloved alma mater.  What I am now is partly because of UPLB.” The Society of Math Majors (SMM-UPLB) also participated in the program by donating three brand new laptops to three students who greatly needed the device for remote learning. A little over a month after its launch, IMSP has received an overwhelming support from its alumni as well as student organizations within the Institute. The donations, amounting to Php 96000, 100 CAD and 4 laptops, have reached 37 students ranging from senior students to new freshmen.

Student beneficiaries express their gratitude in the following:

“This amount can help us shoulder a part of the internet connection until the end of semester since we are dependent on mobile data connection. I want to express my gratitude to the alumni who extended their help to the students like us who are in need in this kind of learning set-up. I will make sure that what you have given to us will not be a waste by repaying you with satisfactory grades. Thank you once again, alumni!!”

“Having such immense and immediate support vitally aided in reducing some of the distress and mental friction that was brought upon by the unforeseen but necessary adjustments in light of the pandemic. I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to all the alumni that have endeavored to support us in our learning in these admittedly trying times. Even though all of us are struggling, the alumni have gone out of their way to provide consequential assistance in ways and means that truly endow relief to students.”

IMSP is still accepting donations for the Adopt-a-Student Program for the first semester and fully intends to continue to do so until the end of this academic year. Pledges from other willing IMSP alumni or organizations are also accepted. If you wish to contribute, kindly answer the Google Form https://forms.gle/e2ju7fWPHKZyKvLv9 to indicate your pledge of aid. You may also contact the IMSP Director’s Office through imspdirector.uplb@up.edu.ph for any questions you may have on the said program.

(JD Palacio)