CNN Hero wants more volunteer teachers

November 28, 2009 2:51 am 

MANILA, Nov. 27 — CNN Hero of the Year Efren Penaflorida proposed on Friday morning that colleges and universities urge their students to volunteer as tutors to out-of-school youths.

Fresh from Hollywood, California, where he received the CNN award, Penaflorida told President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the need to rescue vulnerable young people from a life of crime.

He related how his pushcart (kariton) classroom had grown from 20 to 200 volunteer teachers. Today, he added, the program teaches more than 2,500 students every Saturday.

“We are not governed by a curriculum. We are not an alternative teaching program. We teach primary children, ages 4 to teens, who have lost interest in school for one reason or another,” Penaflorida explained to the President.

He said that the success of the program depends on the number of student volunteers it can get. “The more volunteers the more young people we can reach. We need to impart to them good moral values,” he said.

The President was so excited that she ordered the replication of the kariton school, initially in Metro Manila and then all over the country.

The President congratulated Penaflorida’s parents, Lucila and Efren Sr., “for raising your child so well.”

It turned out that Penaflorida was a PGMA Leadership awardee from Cavite in the early part of her term. (PNA)

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