When Dr. Iqbal Anwar, CEO of Prime Bank Foundation (PBF) invited me to be part of Prime Bank English Medium School (PBEMS), I was so elated and did not have second thoughts about my decision. I have been wanting to come back to Bangladesh after my six-month volunteer stint in 2011 as teacher, trainer, and school administrator. Indeed, I want to take part in educating the young of this country, especially those who are socially disadvantaged. It was an easy decision for me to accept the offer simply because my dream to have education for all coincides with Prime Bank Foundations mission and vision to create an enabling environment for the underprivileged to access basic human needs and services such as education and healthcare, and for every person to enjoy their right to a life with dignity.
I am happy to continue my mission through PBEMS, a non-profit school established by Prime Bank Foundation. The aim in setting up the school is to offer quality education for all with international standards and interactive pedagogy the same educational system that I had in the Philippines, United States, and Israel. I was raised with an interactive educational method during my elementary and high school years, university life in Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and further studies in the field of Education, Family Life & Child Development, Guidance & Counseling, Pastoral Care & Youth Ministry and Management & Development of Non Government Organization. Interactive method of teaching is also what I used when I was teaching in the Philippines, USA, and Cambodia, which was proven to be highly effective.
As principal of PBEMS, I have three strategic priorities, namely:
Build our own people by applying interactive learning method and holistic approach that includes character development; cultivating and fostering a well-behaved, cultured and civilized people with sense of purpose, meaning and community.
Build our nation by animating our students to get involved in social development and community services; catalyzing societal change in key social sectors; and by cultivating love of country.
Build our future by providing affordable quality education; dropping unemployment and severe poverty; reducing the risk posed to development and environment by growing a green and viable economy; and by actualizing sustainability including the school campus.
These triple imperatives encapsulate quality academic and values formation, development and stewardship. If we are to convey these priorities in terms of love, then the three priorities are an expression of our love of the Almighty, our love of people and country, and our love of creation and environment. To be able to achieve these priorities, I need the support and cooperation of all stakeholders: students, teachers and staff, parents and the community. I enjoin each and everyone in helping these dreams become a reality in PBEMS.
In July 2011, I left Bangladesh with a heavy heart not only because I had to say goodbye to my friends and extended families, but also with the concern that I may not anymore be able to take part in advocating the interactive educational method. I am grateful that I am back now and more committed in providing affordable quality education and values formation in PBEMS. I am inspired to journey with each student to help fully develop his or her social, intellectual, and moral capabilities and thereby become a lifelong learner, productive citizen, and fulfilled human being.
Blas Ofelie S. Descallar
Principal, Prime Bank English Medium School