#MEKA is Synergeia Foundation’s ongoing campaign to transform local leaders, institutions, and communities into champions for education. With its launch on Facebook, it certainly has doubled Synergeia’s potential of spreading an epidemic of hope in the education sector.
In contemporary tech lingo, #MEKA defines Synergeia’s commitment to spark a movement for good education governance and articulates the distinct culture and value system that fuels it: Relevance- MEKAbuluhan; Knowledge- MEKAtalinuhan; Discovery- MEKAtanungan; and Brilliance- MEKAgalingan.
Proof to the positive impact of the Synergeia ideal is the awarding of the Seal of Good Governance to local government units (LGUs) that excel in spurring community collaboration to design and implement sustainable education programs that boost learning outcomes of children in their localities.
Since 2017, with staunch support from USAID and advocates from the private sector, Synergeia has been conferring the Seal, not only to crown achievements, but also to challenge the entire Synergeia community to aim higher at boosting enrollment rates, increasing the number of successful primary school graduates, reducing the number of non-readers and frustrated readers, and transforming local school boards and school governing councils into true education champions.
“We award the Seal of Good Governance as proof that their success is not just anecdotal but that their efforts have truly yielded fruit,” said Dr. Milwilda M Guevarra, Synergeia President and CEO
The granting of the Seal likewise serves as a barometer for readiness of Synergeia leaders to harness their resources to sustain and scale education governance reform from the “bottom-up.”
“All of us here are leaders of Synergeia,” affirmed Synergeia Chairman Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, at the recently concluded 14th Washington SyCip National Education Summit. “Our role as Synergeia leaders is to act as a catalyst. A catalyst stimulates action that pulls us together and pushes action from inside ourselves. It brings together our individual work and energy to come up with something bigger than our individual efforts combined.” Fr. Villarin added that, this time, “copying” each other’s best practices is not only allowed but even beneficial to the dissemination of the Synergeia vision and mission.
This year, 27 LGUs were honored with the Seal and received from the Summit’s major sponsors generous support to sustain their advocacy: P75,000 worth of gas cards from SEAOIL, P79,000 worth of phone cards from Smart Communications, and a package of children’s books from SGV Foundation worth P50,000.
Leaders of the three firms had nothing but heartening words for the Synergeia community.
Mr. Wilson Tan, Chairman and Managing Partner of SGV and Company, reiterated his company’s confidence in the Foundation’s bid to “improve basic education in the Philippines as a means of alleviating poverty” after the heart of Synergeia’s Chairman for Life and SGV Founder Washington SyCip.
For his part, Mr. Darwin Flores, Vice President for Community Partnerships of Smart Communications, a Synergeia supporter since 2017, emphasized the need for connectivity to support young learners in the New Normal, recognizing “the role of education and local governments in producing the leadership and capital for nation-building.”
Finally, Mr. Mark Yu, President for Retail and COO of SEAOIL underscored the need to cultivate a new breed of leaders in pandemic times: “…strong leaders who are grounded on the issues and focused on solutions… adaptive to the dynamic and uncertain environment, that can generate trust (and) move communities towards positive results.”
Speaking for this year’s Seal of Good Governance awardees, two-time Seal recipient, Vigan City Mayor Carlo Medina, went back to the basics, calling for unity and single-minded pursuit of the Synergeia vision and mission: “This is not an award for any one person, this is an award for the community. We can all persevere to defy gravity.”
Synergeia, founded in 2002, is a non–profit organization of individuals, institutions, and organizations working to improve the quality of basic education in the country.
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