The GK Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan will be the site of the first-ever social enterprise school that will help spur the sector’s growth.
This was announced Thursday by no less than Education Secretary Armin Luistro during the Social Business Summit that coincided with Gawad Kalinga’s 10th anniversary celebration.
Luistro said the social enterprise school will be part of senior high school or the last two years under DepEd’s K+12 program.
“The social enterprise school will serve as a model for the establishment of such kinds of schools in other parts of the country,” said Luistro.
Luistro said that with GK spearheading the first social enterprise school, students will be prepared and guided for small business ventures and other career paths that are in tune with today’s demands.
“This program is also in line with DepEd’s Abot-Alam program, which aims to lure some five million out-of-school youth back to school,” Luistro added.
Also, Luistro shared his plan of connecting public schools in the Philippines’s 46,500 barangays with local community and industry partners to further advance the quality of education in the country.
Key personalities and institutions from both the government and the private sector have likewise pledged support for this initiative.
Aside from Luistro, Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil de los Reyes, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) head and Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro also emphasized their commitment to GK’s programs and advocacies.
Amaro said the DENR has committed to establish an Agro-Economic and Nature Park at the GK Enchanted Farm that will help the government’s National Greening Program.
For his part, de los Reyes said the agency is focused on strengthening Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) groups in different parts of the country by providing them with the needed farm equipment and other implements.
Also, de los Reyes said the DAR is coordinating with other government agencies such as the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to fast-track the establishment of cooperative and rural workers association at a cheaper cost.
Balisacan, in his speech, emphasized that social entrepreneurs play a key role in reducing the country’s unemployment and poverty rate.
Private sector support
From the private sector, high-profile educational institutions De La Salle University and Hautes Etudes de Commerce (HEC) Paris—Europe’s leading business school—have likewise committed to support the educational of future social entrepreneurs.
According to Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Executive Director of the HEC Social Business Chair, “It’s urgent to invent new ways to do business and to raise a new generation to do it. We need a paradigm shift [in education and in doing business.]”
Likewise, organizations and corporations such as the LifeBank Foundation and Hyundai have committed to support the education of future social entrepreneurs by developing both physical infrastructure and long-term programs, in order to build “laboratories” for social enterprise and countryside development. These are among the many other forms of support pledged by various public and private sector partners of Gawad Kalinga.