Silid Aralan Inc (SAI), a non-governmental organization in the Philippines that educates and empowers struggling learners, held a virtual ceremony last June 12, 2021 to name the 75 students who made it to its “75 Under 75” list.
A first of its kind, “75 Under 75” identifies the country’s most academically-challenged students, and enlists them to undergo Silid Aralan’s Ground Zero Program—a teaching method that has effectively transformed the lives of underachievers.
“Our learning sessions are customized to each [child’s] learning style, assisting them to acquire the required competencies to move on to the second level of Silid Aralan’s Learning Program, iLEAD. We engage the learners in fun and interactive sessions with the aim of developing their love for learning,” said SAI Founder and CEO, Arcie Mallari.
In collaboration with independent ideas agency GIGIL, the educational charity began its search at the beginning of the year, observing an offbeat set of qualifications: only public school elementary students with grades under 75 and no extracurricular activities were eligible. SAI was on the hunt for the worst performing students in the Philippines, unlike other lists that traditionally name only achievers.
The turnout? Over a hundred students were nominated by their respective school principals.
75 Under 75 Awardees
The awarding ceremony was held virtually over Facebook Live, with those named and their parents joining in from different parts of the country.
“We have students from the Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro City, and South Cotabato. These ‘75 Under 75’ Awardees will receive a learning materials package, internet allowance for online learning sessions, and supervision from a mentor/learning facilitator,” Mallari shared.
The nominees went under the scrutiny of an esteemed board of judges—among them DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado M. San Antonio, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer of PHINMA Corp. Danielle Del Rosario, and Monark Equipment Corp. Chairman, Jose Antonio Banson. The Top 75 made it to the list.
“These students at the bottom need more support. There’s hope in them. We have to believe and invest in these learners. These learners must be empowered to become, not only achievers in school, but more importantly, productive citizens of our nation. Imagine if we shifted the mindset of these learners, how much better will our community be?” Mallari emphasized.
Call for Donations
According to a report of the Department of Education (DepEd) in March 2021, there were 126,000 students who failed in the past year–despite the fact that 99% of 14.6 million public school students received a passing grade. Now with remote learning set in place for the ‘new normal’, teachers are having a harder time reaching their students, leaving behind underperformers.
The imbalance took a deeper nosedive at the onset of COVID-19, with millions of underprivileged children struggling to afford the additional costs of online classes. SAI intends to assist them through its program.
So begins the journey of the first batch of “75 Under 75.” These learners will soon be joining the other 7,500 students that SAI has empowered since starting its advocacy in 2007.
Silid Aralan is accepting donations via ShopeePay.