It has always been said that Filipinos are not wanting in drive, determination and perseverance. Most of the time, success and progress are elusive because what’s lacking are the proper resources, guidance, mentorship, and skills development.
These problems are apparent today more than ever with the recent shift in the educational system of the Philippines. With the mandate to transition into the K-12 basic education curriculum, students are eager and ready to take on additional knowledge that will make them more competitive and aligned with global standards of learning.
However, with the transition comes the apparent need for content and information that will serve as the ingredients for success later on in life. In order for Filipino students to more effectively shape their future careers, they require real-life learning opportunities and practical knowledge apart from mere theories and lessons in the classroom.
Leading Filipino food manufacturer Universal Robina Corporation (URC), cognizant of its role as a brand that is close to the hearts of millions of its consumers, has identified this need and has stepped up to the challenge of enhancing the learning systems and tools of the new primary and secondary educational system in the country.
As a leader in its field of food and beverages, URC leverages its experience and expertise in the fields of baking and breadmaking, which is one of the subject matters in the technical-vocational track prescribed in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) senior high school curriculum. Thus, the idea for Flourish Pilipinas was born.
The project aims to provide definitive knowledge and information for grade 11 and 12 students by way of a standardized multimedia toolkit on bread and pastry production. URC is sharing time-tested recipes, techniques and practices in producing high-quality bread products that are not only delicious but economical as well—providing students with the right kind of experience and knowledge that can empower them to eventually be successful entrepreneurs in the field or valuable employees in the related hotel and restaurants industries.
Aside from the toolkit, URC is also providing a year’s supply of flour for actual use by the senior high school students taking up bread and pastry production. This not only provides them valuable experience in handling and discerning excellent ingredients, but also helps alleviate financial and budget concerns among schools and parents.
The Flourish Pilipinas project is initially rolled out in selected public high schools in the DepEd school divisions of Davao City, Pasig and Makati. The beneficiary schools in Davao City include Catalunan Pequeño National High School, Mulig National High School, Don Enrique Bustamante National High School, Camansi National High School, Mahayag National High School and Sta. Ana National High School. Meanwhile, the participating schools in the Schools Division of Makati City are Benigno Aquino High School, Fort Bonifacio High School, and Makati High School. The pilot schools from the Schools Division of Pasig City are Rizal High School and Sta. Lucia High School. A total of 1,109 students are currently benefitting from this project.
A testament to the innovation and impact of Flourish Pilipinas as a communications initiative is the citation it recently garnered at the 54th Anvil Awards of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP). URC Flour and Pasta Division, having partnered with the DepEd and Knowledge Community, received a Silver Anvil award for Flourish Pilipinas as an outstanding public relations program that effectively engages and empowers Filipino senior high school students to become excellent bakers.
“This award is truly meaningful because it affirms our positive role in society not just as a company but as a responsible corporate citizen,” said Naida Dalisay-Ebora, National Sales and Marketing Director of URC Flour and Pasta Division.
Ellison Dean C. Lee, Vice-President and Business Unit General Manager of URC Flour and Pasta Division, added: “We look forward to expanding the Flourish Pilipinas project and to further enhancing the learning capabilities of our Filipino youth to arm them for success in the exciting and lucrative food and hospitality industries.”
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