Filling the Void: The Pinoy Education Program
The Pinoy Education Program teaches young Filipino Americans about their culture
February 22, 2006 1:04 PM
SF State Asian Studies professor Alyson Tintiangco-Cubales believed there was a lack of culture being taught in Bay Area schools. She decided to start an ethnic studies program to fill that void.
In 2001, professor Tintiangco-Cubales started an educational program called the Pinoy Education Program (PEP), which teaches young Filipino Americans at the high school and elementary levels about their heritage.
She has taught at various schools around San Francisco, including Balboa High School, Burton High School and Longfellow Elementary. She believes PEP should be offered in many other schools because high schools in the past never had an ethnic studies program.
“Students in the high school level never had this opportunity before and this is why this program is important because it takes ethnic studies into where it’s needed,” said professor Tintiangco-Cubales.
Along with her student educators, she teaches many things about the Filipino culture, including issues about the Philippines during the colonial period and social justice movements.
Many of the long-time educators have gotten hands-on training in the field of education to help with the program. PEP educator, Nikki Magsambol, who has been with the program for three years, says this program benefits her because she is out their teaching what she loves.
She has been told that student test scores have risen since she has been an educator for the program by some school principals.
“The principal even told us that since PEP has been at Balboa High School, test scores have gone up dramatically of Filipinos,” said Magsambol.
Since SF State has been hit hard by budget cuts, PEP has not been able to receive the total amount of funds they needed. According to Professor Tintiangco-Cubales, the city of San Francisco has offered the program $25,000 dollars which Tintiangco-Cubales believes is not nearly enough to help fund this program.
“Our budget should be at $100,000 to $150,000 but we are running well with a small budget and we are trying our best,” said Tintiangco-Cubales.
Budget cuts have not been a major factor for Professor Tintiangco-Cubales to accomplish some of the programs goals. One of her main goals is for Filipino Americans to better themselves as individuals.
“Hopefully at the end of the day we end up with some Filipino Americans who are proud of who they are,” said Tintiangco-Cubales.
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