Experiments for chemistry lessons
Equipment for a school lab in the Philippines
At the San Miguel National High School in Puerto Princesa, the Philippines, about 1,000 pupils used to be taught in 20 classrooms. These days, the school has around three times as many pupils. The population of the Philippines has grown massively: New classrooms need to be added and equipped every year. That often means that there is a lack of funds for adequate technical equipment for the laboratories. The chemistry teachers at the high school have taken the initiative and tiled one lab and laid a water pipe. Otherwise, this lab looks little different from a normal classroom: There is no equipment such as Bunsen burners, test tubes, chemicals and so on. But without doing experiments, the pupils can only study chemistry based on book learning.
Lab equipment for a chemistry classroom at the San Miguel National High School in the Philippines.
The school buys enough of various lab materials such as test tubes, Bunsen burners and chemicals to teach 2,700 pupils.
Amount of lab materials that can be bought for teaching chemistry.
For the first time, 2,700 pupils will be able to do their own experiments. The pupils gain a deeper understanding of chemistry and they have a better chance of passing the admittance examination for studying university courses in the natural sciences.
The standard of education at state schools goes up. There is less of a difference between private and state schools.
By global standards, the Philippines have a high literacy rate. 96.3 per cent of the over-15s can read and write (CIA World Factbook 2015). However, the standard of education varies considerably. While private schools are well equipped and usually have just 20 pupils per class, state-run schools are often insufficiently equipped and have large classes with often 50 to 60 children in one classroom. When pupils from a state school such as the San Miguel National High School later want to go on to apply for a university degree, they are at a clear disadvantage. Many graduates of the San Miguel National High School do not meet the admission requirements for a study course in the natural sciences and cannot pass their entrance exams. Only graduates from private schools tend to be successful. This clearly shows that the social background is a deciding factor when it comes to educational opportunities and career choices.
The good deed
This good deed brings experimentation to chemistry lessons at the San Miguel National High School. The aim is to fully equip two chemistry labs. This will involve buying test tubes as well as Bunsen burners, chemicals, safe storage cupboards, glass stirring rods, measuring cylinders, microscopes etc. All materials will be bought locally where spare parts will be easily available. With this technical equipment, pupils will be allowed to actively engage in experimentation for the first time.
103 320 200
Number of inhabitants
Gross domestic product per capita per year
Human Development Index
The Philippines are an island nation with 7107 islands and more than 100 languages.
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