Education is key to nation-building, and the Ateneo has taken this to heart by providing educational opportunities to financially needy students and working to improve public education in our country.
Every year, the Ateneo allocates fully fifteen percent of its gross tuition revenue for scholarships for students who are in need of financial assistance to pursue a college degree at the Ateneo. This is in addition to funded scholarships from the Ateneo Scholarship Foundation and individual donors. At the graduate level, teachers and staff of any educational institution pursuing graduate studies at the Ateneo’s Loyola Schools receive an automatic fifty percent tuition scholarship.
At the 2004 Metrobank Foundation’s Search for Outstanding Teachers, representatives from the Ateneo beamed with pride: Dr. Manuel Dy, Jr., Ph.D., professor of philosophy, had won at the Tertiary Level. But another source of pride was the fact that two other awardees, Genersol Monton of Fort Bonifacio High School (Makati City) and Mr. Allan Canonigo of New Ormoc City National High School (Ormoc City) were both graduates of Ateneo’s teacher education programs.
The Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED) is on its seventh year of training elementary and high school teachers from Metro Manila public schools in English, Math, and Science. Faculty members of the Loyola Schools also assist the fledgling Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina to pursue its dreams of becoming a good city university.
The Ateneo has had a long history of serving public school students. The Tulong Dunong Program started in the High School in 1975 is one excellent example. The Pathways for Higher Education program is another. Started in April 2002 with the support of Synergeia and the Ford Foundation, the Pathways program obtains scholarships for financially needy but deserving students and assists in the development of their communities. It has grown beyond the confines of the Ateneo de Manila and now involves partner institutions around the country from as far away as General Santos City in Mindanao.
Whether it is Tulong Dunong, Pathways, or ACED, these experiences help students and faculty to reflect on the values and structures of our society, and on their love for God and fellowmen, and invite them to a personal conversion. It is only then that service and excellence will have purpose and meaning.