Kariton Klasrum Project: Appreciation of Oral and Literary Convergence

By: Donovan Aguilos, Marvin John Saijo, and Erika Xim Paola Santos

“You are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.” –Efren Peñaflorida (Founder Kariton Klasrum Program; CNN 2009 Hero of the Year).

While some of us were enjoying the luxury of life, CNN 2009 Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida roamed around the streets of Cavite with his kariton delivering free education to all street children. Peñaflorida wasn’t just a typical hero. Since 1997, this ‘slumdog educator’ and more than 12, 000 teenage volunteers have taught basic reading and writing skills to more than 1, 800 children living on the streets and consequently bringing global fame to this Kariton Klasrum Project. These pushcarts were stocked with school materials and even folding tables and chairs. The volunteers then, create school settings in locations wherever the children were.

On the other hand, “How do orality and literacy impact the Kariton Klasrum Program?” The dialogic relationship between these two influences its mission which was clearly focused on developing life and civic skills necessary in producing lifelong learners.


In the project, orality as speech communication was used in leisure activities such as games and storytelling for the children to enjoy learning instead of just immersing them in books. However, the literary culture was observed through different literacy and numerical assessments. There was equilibrium in the teaching methods wherein both oral and literary cultures are involved.


With this teaching method, it showed efficacy based on the results of street children’s learning performance. This only showed that classes weren’t really supposed to be tedious by reading books and copying notes, but it should also engage students in the aforementioned leisure activities. Through these, both mentors and students are engaged in a mutual understanding of the topics by presenting activities that do not deviate from the lessons.

Furthermore, the project promotes the understanding that each student has different learning capabilities, since each of them have different upbringings, and the mentors have to simply put themselves into their position to relay the information in a manner that a child of a certain age group can retain, and make it more comprehensive and enjoyable among the street children.

The study of proper treatment on our thought processes and social structures can develop sustainable teaching strategies which can encourage even the lost street children to go back to the walls of proper education. It is in the appreciation of the convergence of oral and literary cultures we are able to innovate and uplift the value of Philippine education and perhaps envision “Education for All” in a different perspective.

“Before, they saw [a pushcart] as a symbol of poverty, but now they see a pushcart as a symbol of hope.” -Peñaflorida

Askew, L and Beger, D. (2010). Filipinos embrace Hero of the Year, ‘pushcart classrooms’ for poor. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/09/16/cnnheroes.penaflorida.update/index.html

Postigo, N. (2017). Efren Peñaflorida of ‘pushcart classroom’.  Retrieved from http://www.korea.net/NewsFocus/People/view?articleId=144430

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2015). Promising EFA practices in the Asia Pacific. The Philippines: Kariton klasrum. Retrieved from: http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002330/233005E.pdf

Photo References:

Corpuz, J. (2010). Efren Peñaflorida aka kariton kid [Online Image]. Retrieved from http://www.juanmanilaexpress.com/qbe-foundation-dynamic-teen-company-by-efren-penaflorida-education-programs/

Dennis, M. (2011). Karitun klasrum [Online Image]. Retrieved from http://pinoymanila.com/2011/08/22/golden-abc-supports-efren-penafloridas-kariton-klasrum/

Magbanua, D. (2009). CNN hero 2009: Efren Peñaflorida [Online Image]. Retrieved from https://itsthewalkingstick.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/cnn-hero-2009-efren-penaflorida/

Push Cart Education [Online Image]. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.tasteofgoodness.info/2011/08/gabc-changing-lives-at-time-in-kariton.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s