The European Union, through the Project Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY), has injected funding for the electrification of two (2) remote schools in Cebu with the deployment of solar technology.
The beneficiary-schools have been the Carnaza Elementary School and Carnaza National High School, which are both located in an island-domain of Daanbantayan in Cebu.
The project team at RELY already reported completion of the solar installations in the two schools and had been turned over last March 19. Those undertaking, it was noted, had been completed with the help of school officials and community leaders.
Yet while the solar-electrified schools may not immediately be used because of the Covid-19 pandemic, RELY Project Director Sabine Schacknat, indicated that they “look forward to the time when the students are able to come to school physically and experience how their learning conditions have improved.”
For the time being, he noted that “the fully energized schools are helping teachers prepare the modules that their students need.”
As could be gleaned from the project blueprints, the Carnaza Elementary School has been powered with a phovoltaic (PV) system that has the capacity to generate 21,120 watts-peak of electricity; and the system includes 64 PV modules, inverters and batteries; while the Carnaza National High School had been installed with parallel generation capacity.
According to EU Ambassador Luc Véron, “the approach of the project reflects the European Union’s policy which considers renewable energy as a critically important enabler that is central to our vision for a sustainable planet.”
He emphasized that “reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change is a joint priority with the Philippines and this project contributes to it in a small but meaningful way.”
Salustiano Jimenez, regional director of the Department of Education in Region-7, asserted that “with electricity from the sun, our learners will have classrooms that are conducive to learning and they will get to use electricity-powered learning tools,” adding that “having electricity will not only inspire our teachers, it will also make their jobs easier.”
It was narrated that in these very remote islands, teachers would often go to the mainland just to use computers and print their teaching materials, because electricity access is often a handicap for them to enjoy these benefits in their own communities; and the students are likewise unable to obtain lessons with the use of computers, hence, that will render them lagging behind peers in more progressive communities.
Such societal divide because of electricity access barrier then is the aim of RELY to plug, through the use of renewable energy “to improve lives and foster climate change mitigation in poor and remote communities by energizing 16 off-grid public schools in Cebu, Bohol and Palawan.