Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe will attend the turnover ceremony of “t he Project for Construction of a School Building for Maria Clara High School ” on 25 July 2012 in Barangay 108, Grace Park, Caloocan City.
Honorable Ms. Mary Mitzi “Mitch” L. Cajayon, Representative of the 2nd District of Caloocan City, Department of Education (DepED) Secretary Armin A. Luistro, Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom” Echiverri, Schools Division Superintendent of Caloocan Corazon M. Gonzales, Maria Clara Principal Imelda Caro, School and Parent-Teachers Association Officials, and students are going to witness the ceremony. The project, the cost of which amount s to US$208,219 (approximately 9 million pesos), is funded through the Embassy of Japan's Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) . The project consists of the construction of a two-storey, ten-classroom school building with provisions for chair desk s for students , and desk s and chairs for teachers .
Maria Clara High School is situated in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, one of the densely populated areas in the Philippines, and has faced an annual increase in the number of students since its establishment in 2000. As such, the school has been experiencing classroom shortage and congestion. Prior to this project, the school had only 15 classrooms, which forced school officials to implement a two-shift schedule system and conduct classes in auxiliary rooms such as the school's library, audio-visual room, science laboratory and stage, which obstructs quality education for students.
It is expected that with the assistance from the Japanese Government, the learning environment for around 2, 600 students will improve and contribute to the enhancement of the public education system in the country.
On 30 July, 2012, Maria Clara High School is expected to receive a group of 10 high school students and a teacher of Nikaido High School in Japan under JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange Students and Youths) program. The group will have cultural and educational exchange activity with the students of Maria Clara High School.
The Government of Japan, as the top ODA donor for the Philippines, launched the GGP in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of July 2012, 468 grassroot s projects funded by GGP – ranging from roughly 1 to 4 million pesos – have been implemented by NGOs, local government units and other non-profit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to US$ 22.5 Million. Japan believes that this project will strengthen not only friendship between the peoples of Japan and the Philippines but also the existing strategic partnership between Japan and the Philippines.