During the 8th LEAD Mission Council meeting h e l d o n l i n e o n 2 4 September 2021, Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC and Br. Antonio Cubillas F S C p r e s e n t e d t h e L a s a l l i a n V i r t u a l Educational Apostolate or ELEVATE / LVE8 p r o j e c t , w h i c h w a s endorsed by the LEAD District Council to the LMC for approval.
Br. Dennis shared the World Bank figures report that "COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021". And from the United Nations Policy Brief entitled "Education during COVID-19 and beyond" (August 2020) reported that "COVID-19 has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries and all continents". The UN report added that "The crisis is exacerbating pre-existing education disparities by reducing opportunities for many of the most vulnerable children, youth and adults, those living in poor or rural areas, girls, refugees, persons with disabilities and forcibly displaced persons - to continue their learning". The UN Policy Brief recommended the need to build resilient education systems for equitable and sustainable development.
Arising from this prevailing situation, a call for all Lasallians to reimagine its educational mission and response to the pandemic is made.
LEAD had formed an Ideation Group composed of Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC (Co-Convenor), Ms. Coreen Paul (Co-Convenor), Br. Antonio Cubillas FSC, Br. Vincent Fernandez FSC, Br. Emong Viroomal FSC, Mr. Paul Tam and Mr. Louis Kyaw Koko, who brain-stormed and formulated the following proposal for the LMC to consider: How should the Lasallian educational ministry respond to the prevailing and emerging realities in the District brought about by the pandemic? With particular focus on the poor and those who live in the peripheries, how should Lasallian Mission respond? Considering the technological resources and advancements now available, how should Lasallians use and harness them to address the disparities exacerbated by COVID-19?
The LEAD Mission Council responded positively to the challenge and committed to carefully study the matter and formulate recommendations to be presented to the District Council. (Text: Mr. Jay Gervasio; Photo: Ms. Coreen Paul)