Nearing two years into the global health crisis, the Philippines has slowly been opening up. With vaccination for young children only just recently being rolled out, the education sector is the last to open up – proceeding extra cautiously.
In fact, as of writing, the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world where most classrooms remain closed. Distance education remains to be a struggle for teachers and students and even the parents who support them. Cramped, noisy spaces are far from conducive to learning as one can hardly concentrate, much less engage.
''I cannot focus at home,'' shared Angelica, a student from Malabon City. ''There are so many distractions.'' In the same vein, educators worry if their students are absorbing much of their lessons.
As classes opened ''virtually'' for the second year in a row, McDonald's once again opened its doors to teachers and students – this time with more locations all over the country, and with a special focus on happy touches that have been sorely missed in virtual classrooms.
How did they bring a bit of happiness back into learning? Watch this video and see how McDonald's transformed their unused party spaces into happy places of teaching and learning.
Wilma, a teacher who used the McDonald's Classroom in Makati City, felt energized to teach. ''It is happy not just for the students, but also for the teachers,'' she shared.
This year, McDonald's Classrooms welcomed over 1,000 students and teachers all over the country. Apart from clean, sanitized spaces, they enjoyed free Wi-Fi, free snacks, and even free care kits. Teachers and students also had fun using the specially designed happy school virtual backgrounds provided. Some were treated to surprise greetings from celebrities, while other teachers had well-loved McDonald's characters like Grimace and Hamburglar help them liven up their online classes.
''McDonald's Classroom is our way of easing the burdens experienced by teachers and students,'' said Oliver Rabatan, AVP for Marketing and Channels of McDonald's Philippines. ''For us, this is not a promo or gimmick, but really a commitment to supporting important members of the community.''
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