by Asher Ayeras & Clarissa Rodriguez
“Isigaw natin sa daigdig, tayo’y isang bayan, isang awit, isang tinig.”
Thousands of high school students, whose skills, talents and intellect are continuously honed to become active citizens of the community, chanted this line from Malabon Hymn as the flag is raised at Malabon National High School (MNHS), the biggest public secondary school in the Division of Malabon City.
During the launching of Project I Commit to Global Citizenship Education through Online Newspaper (PIGEON) on November 27, 2019 at MNHS, its principal, Dr. Ma. Victoria R. De Gulan stated how she would continuously support activities and projects aligned with Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
“We are continuously working together to create an environment where each and every student is given opportunities not only to acquire knowledge and skills, but also to learn to value peace; to be respectful of human rights; to understand interconnectedness among all people; and to work for sustainable development for one global community,” Dr. De Gulan said with an unwavering conviction.
Dr. De Gulan, a staunch supporter of the SDGs, carried on implementing long-standing programs as well as new relevant projects at MNHS to encourage the entire school community to play active roles to make the school an epitome of sustainability.
MNHS hikes towards inclusive learning
Special curriculum programs. In line with SDG No. 4 – Quality Education that advocates inclusive education for all, MNHS offered its special interest programs to Malabonians. The various curriculums offered at MNHS provide specialized training and experience to students who are opting into their preferred specific track.
“MNHS is an ideal place for students to grow educationally, collaborate, excel in their chosen field of interest, and have a meaningful high school experience,” Dr. De Gulan said as she explained the importance of the different curriculums offered at MNHS.
MNHS started catering Special Curricular Program in Science, Technology and Engineering in 1994 to learners who are inclined in science and mathematics. The STE Program, under the supervision of its coordinator, Mrs. Anacoreta Rufo-Trogo, is geared towards the continuous improvement to strengthen the motivation and engagement of STE students in order to nurture the scientists, doctors, and engineers in them so that they will pursue careers that are STE-related and assume contribution in the future to the country’s productivity, growth and role in globalization.
The Special Program in the Arts was first implemented at MNHS in 2006 to further develop learners who are engaged in different forms of arts. The school offered different art disciplines – Theater Arts, Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Media Arts, and Creative Writing.
The Special Program in Foreign Language was first offered at MNHS in 2012 to linguistically inclined students. It prepares them for a global workplace that is diverse in language and culture. In the next academic year, two more classes will be added to the existing five classes with Chinese Mandarin as an elective subject.
School Year 2019-2020 saw the birth of Malabon City National Science and Mathematics High School at MNHS through Republic Act No. 11007 sponsored by Hon. Federico S. Sandoval II, former Representative of the Lone District of Malabon to the House of Representatives. Hon. Sandoval believed that the establishment of the MCNSMHS will provide better opportunities for Malabon youth who have the aptitude and talent in Science, Technology, and Mathematics (STEM) which will prepare them for the challenges of a Science and Technology-driven society as they pursue post-secondary education or careers in STEM.
Innovation for conservation
Solar power. On October 2, 2019, Ms. Evangeline Juan led the Solar Power Program by launching a solar-powered charging station. Before this, she also led, in coordination with the LGU-Malabon, the installation of 17 solar-powered lights around the campus in September 2015. Her efforts to use solar energy are aligned with SDG No. 7 which tackles clean and affordable energy for everybody.
Rain water harvesting. As a way to conserve water resources, a Rain Water Harvester was installed in the school, an initiative of the 2015 Many Faces of a Teacher honoree, Ms. Haide Pandoy who was a retired Science teacher at MNHS. The Rain Water Harvester is used for the bathrooms and gardens inside the campus. It is in line with SDG No. 6, which tackles clean water and sanitation for everyone.
Climate change awareness. Performing the play Wrath of the River Goddess during the Bangkok Theatre Festival on November 2-3, 2019, Tanghalang Bagong Sibol (TBS), helped to raise awareness about Climate Change and Environment Destruction.
With exquisite and well-executed moving obra maestra, the group which is steered by Mr. Anthony Cruz, also performed in the Cultural Center of the Philippines on November 20, 2019 during the 12th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week with its piece centered on the theme “Future Threatened by Climate Change: Voices and Visions of the Youth.”
TBS and PIGEON have started initial talks for a collaboration project this year to further promote awareness about climate change. It is in line with SDG No. 13 that calls for united action against Climate Change.
Urban gardening. MNHS, together with the supervision of Mr. Toribio Cruz, the barangay, parents, and Malabon CENRO (City Environmental & Natural Resources), started to launch its own Plant Center in August 2019. The Plant Center has a data-base which keeps all information apropos to the different tree species found in MNHS.
The school also maintains its Gulayan sa Paaralan, which houses edible crops and vegetables. It is managed by every department in the campus. All harvests are sold to the faculty members and profits are used to support the feeding program of the school.
Both the Plant Center and Gulayan sa Paaralan are in line with SDG No. 15 or Life on Land.
Sorting and recycling. TLE Club spearheaded by Ms. Nancy Talisayon, established segregation and recycling measures inside the school, including Shoot That Bottle Canister and Segregated Trash Bins scattered throughout the entire campus.
Also, the Ecosavers Club led by National Ecosavers Program Coordinator Ms. Desiree Melindo and Mrs. Agnes Nepomuceno, with the help of TLE and YES-O clubs, proposed for the incoming school year Project P.I.P.E.S (Pipe as Instrument in Promoting Eco-Friendly Schools) which will provide students, teachers, utilities, and other non-teaching personnel compulsory information and skills on the proper disposal and management of used paper cups through PVC Pipe Recovery Facility.
These are all aligned with SDG No. 12 which aims for a more responsible consumption and production.
Securing welfare of students
Feeding programs. With the help of the Feeding Coordinator Mrs. Nichol Yandoc and the school’s TLE and YECS clubs, MNHS implements a monthly Feeding Program for its impoverished and malnourished students which started last 2017. This program helps students to lessen hunger and to gain adequate nourishment for their age. In addition, the nutritious vegetables and crops from the school’s Gulayan sa Paaralan are propounded for faculty consumption with the help of students’ entrepreneurship skills. It is in line with SDG No. 2, which aims to end hunger and promote food conservation.
Health promotion projects. MNHS also implements other projects that promotes students’ health and well-being, such as the Wash-in-School (WINS). The WINS Program, headed by Mr. Don Mark Apostol, ensures that cleanliness and sanitation are observed in the entire school through the collaboration among teachers, students, school personnel, and different organizations in MNHS. To guarantee the accomplishment of its goals, WINS Program created five committees: Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, Deworming, and Health Education. Stakeholders like the MNHS Alumni Association Batch ‘82 also supported the program by donating hand washing facilities, which serves as a big help to establish handwashing routines in the school.
Interact Club, under the supervision of Mrs. Kristine Rodriguez-Cruz conducts its medical-dental mission annually. Its Toothbrush Project which was conducted on October 9, 2019 was already on its sixth year of giving out toothbrush kits to MNHS students. The Interactors also extend their efforts outside the school campus whenever needed. In October 2019, the group volunteered to help the Barangay Health Office in giving polio vaccines to the children of Brgy. Ibaba and Dulong Herrera. Also, through Interact Club about three years ago, the Rotary Club of Malabon donated a drinking fountain and three sinks for handwashing to MNHS.
All these projects are in line with SDG No. 3 – Good Health and Well-Being and SDG No. 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation.
Preeminent responsive teams. MNHS Batang Response Team (BERT), led by BERT Chairman Armando Cruz Jr. and Vice Chairman Marvin Victorio, exemplifies great social responsibility, risk-taking values and high strategic skills in disaster preparedness and management. Having those outstanding responsive skills and maintained equipment such as helmets, ropes, fire extinguishers, radios, and lifeboats made of pet bottles, MNHS has won 2nd place in Gawad Kalasag: Search for Excellence in Disaster Risk Management and Humanitarian Assistance NCR 2015. This is also in line with SDG No. 3 that aims to ensure that everyone enjoys healthy lives.
Internal and external stakeholders. The administration and stakeholders of MNHS maintain intra school partnership and coordination for its programs, activities, and policies. This is especially evident with the annual Brigada Eskwela, where every member of the school organization unifies and comes as one in maintaining the beauty, peace, and organization within the campus.
Inter-organizational partnerships of MNHS from Rotary Club of Malabon, Kiwanis International, Red Cross Malabon, Manila Teachers, Orocan Phils, Manila Waters, University of the East Caloocan, City Savings, Master Siomai, and Malabon National High School Alumni Association are also the big contributors for the success of the school as Brigada Eskwela Hall of Famer and 2019 Most Sustained School – National Level.
Travel Warehouse Inc. President Mr. Jaison Yang, who is also an MNHS alumnus, has been voluntarily sponsoring 700 school supplies annually to help the indigent students through his Fly and Share Project, which was already on its seventh year in 2019.Mr. Yang also supports selected scholars by giving them allowance for the whole school year.
These collaborations and alliances with different stakeholders are aligned with SDG No. 17 – Partnership for the Goals.
United ‘we’ march
The 17 Sustainable Goals of the United Nations was adopted by all its 193 member states in 2015 which aims for better actions in protection of our planet by 2030. According to the 2019 SDG Index, the Republic of the Philippines ranks at 97th out of 162 countries surveyed, with an index score of 64.9 points.
MNHS, through the leadership of Dr. De Gulan and the cooperation of a determined team of educators, continues to gear towards high quality education with a variety of skillful students as proven by the numerous awards that MNHSians won in division, regional, national, and international competitions. But more than that, MNHSians minds have already been awakened towards the attainment of the 17 SDGs. Through the school’s activities, projects and programs, they become inquisitive learners who are fully aware of how to solve the conceivable needs of the world. They have opened their hearts to work with others as active and as responsive as they can be to continuously move towards sustainability and global citizenship.
“Tayong lahat ay patungo, sa langit ng pag-unlad. Sabay tayo sa paglakad, sabay ang ating yapak.”
This is how powerful and determined MNHSians are – united, active, responsible – an epitome of sustainability.