Joji Fernando is a TechVoc advocate and principal of the San Rafael Technological and Vocational High School, a techvoc school officially labeled as “exceptional” by the Department of Education (DepEd). With the help from the Navotas city government and the Aboitiz Foundation, her hard work in the past 16 years has already translated into results.
More than 900 students are using the classrooms refurbished through the help of the Aboitiz Foundation and the Aboitiz Power Corp.’s business unit Therma Mobile, Inc. These classrooms were turned into laboratories for baking and cooking, dressmaking, welding, carpentry, and cosmetology. The Foundation also donated the equipment needed for each vocational class.
Fernando says the donations from the Aboitiz Foundation sealed the deal to officially convert the regular high school into a techvoc school, the first in Navotas! From double-digit dropout rates, the school has had a zero dropout rate in the last four years.
In 2016, the Foundation assisted 18 techvoc high schools, benefiting close to 800 students. Moving forward, it will monitor social impact in terms of number of students who have successfully secured NC II certification, are employed, and have established their own small businesses.