Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) has started releasing the monthly allowances of its 364 college scholars for the Academic Year 2020-2021.
One of the company’s scholars is Nolie Mansari, a third-year student taking Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEED) from the Indigenous Cultural Community of Barangay Bulalacao, Bataraza.
Mansari said that one of the problems he is facing is the instability of internet connection, which is vital to the new learning method, after inevitable changes have observed in the educational landscape due to effect of the health crisis.
To cope with the demand for the learning method, Mansari and his fellow scholar have agreed to used their allowances to purchase a wi-fi.
“Malaki po ‘yong naging pagbabago ngayong ‘new normal’ class, nahihirapan ako mag-adjust kasi ang ang hirap talaga ng (internet) connection sa area namin. Iyon talaga ‘yong problema namin, hindi kami agad-agad na-uupdate regarding sa school para sa online classes,” he said.
“Iyong allowance ko ngayon, napagkasunduan namin ng kapwa ko scholar, since magkapitbahay lang naman kami na bibili po kami ng wi-fi at magsi-share kami,” Mansari added.
CBNC acknowledges that the pandemic has brought major changes to the education system. Based on its observation, the shift from face-to-face set-up to online learning has made the “life of the poor much harder” as they strive to provide needed gadgets or IT equipment for their children to cope with the online learning system.
CBNC community relations manager Ernesto Llacuna said that the company is allocating a large portion of its Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) to the educational sector particularly in the scholarship program as CBNC wants the youth of Bataraza to attain a good future.
The company has allotted a P25 million budget to the scholarship program from its SDMP fund in the year 2020. Through the run of its scholarship program, CBNC has supported 721 scholars to graduate in college.
“We have scholars who wanted us to provide them with laptops instead of taking their monthly allowances. I think this is reasonable,” Llacuna said.
“We want the youth of the Municipality of Bataraza to have a bright future, this is why annually, we allocate a large portion of our SDMP fund for our scholarship program. This is a legacy that CBNC will leave behind at the end of our operation,” he added.
CBNC is also supporting 759 students in high school and 101 in the elementary level for a total of 1,224 scholars.
Meanwhile, Mansari expressed his gratitude to the company in supporting them on their needs under the new learning method.
“Malaking tulong po na nakapasok kami sa scholarship ng CBNC. Kahit papaano po, hindi katulad ng dati na wala kami, hirap na hirap po talaga, pero ngayon, malaking tulong ang naibibigay sa amin,” he said.