It is a development that will benefit Filipino students, particularly those in the elementary level in Quezon City public schools.
Quezon City was chosen as the pilot area for the Coordinates for Life program, a series of training modules for children and young adults to develop and strengthen their decision-making skills, as well as decrease their vulnerability when faced with difficult situations. A joint program between Coca Cola FEMSA-Philippines, local distributor of CocaCola products, and Teach for the Philippines, a non-stock, non-profit organization dedicated to providing relevant and quality education in high-need public schools.
The program is sanctioned by the Department of Education, which pinpointed the third grade level as the initial student level for the program. It does not just involve students. In the case of the Philippine model adopted by Coca Cola FEMSA from the original Mexican model, parents, teachers, and mentors are also provided training support through lectures and workshops to enable them to participate more actively in a child’s holistic development.
The program is designed around 16 life skills such as assertiveness, empathy, understanding consequences, peer pressure, anger and even stress management, using various activities as experiential learning sessions for the students.
“Coordinates for Life is a program commissioned by FEMSA back in 2011 and since its launch has benefited close to 33,000 children and young adults, 3,820 educators, and around 22,500 participants have attended its various lectures. We are very excited to have this opportunity to expand the program in the Philippines,” said Anik Vares, FEMSA Social Sustainability manager who flew to Manila from Mexico together with program designer Dr. Jose Ruben Riojas and Cristina Arroyo from DEHYCO, a leading Human Development and Organizational Change company, also in Mexico.
Margarita Delgado, co-founder and chief executive of Teach for the Philippines, also expressed her group’s appreciation for the program. “We are delighted to partner with Coca Cola FEMSA-Philippines in implementing the Coordinates for Life Program, it will certainly help children and their parents develop the skills to enable them to make better decisions. We look forward to using the program’s tools and incorporate them into the schools’ curriculum.”
Delgado also emphasized the need to convince public school teachers to take pride in their profession and the impact they have on young students.
“What we have experienced is that a lot of public school teachers sort of look down on their profession saying they are mere public school teachers without realizing their true importance,” said Delgado.
For Coca Cola FEMSA Philippines, the program is the biggest CSR program it has launched, investing P13 million to help fund the program for the next two years in the country.
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