26 years of good, quality education-A A +A
Saturday, September 15, 2012
PERHAPS the greatest gift that parents can give to their child that no amount of money can buy is a solid foundation of education.
Some may say that education is the process of obtaining information from our surroundings, which is different from knowledge. But information cannot be exchanged into knowledge without acquiring it in schools.
According to some experts, education makes us capable of interpreting things right. But it is not just about getting lessons from textbooks. It is about learning the lessons of life.
Believing in those principles for 26 years now is St. Mary’s School in Mandumol, Barangay Macasandig, which was founded by Drs. Michael A. Costello and Marilou Palabrica-Costello, to answer the need for a high quality education in Cagayan de Oro.
St. Mary's School, a non-sectarian institution for pre-school, elementary and high school, gives shape to the original vision of its founders by dedicating itself to the mission of promoting the integral growth and development of its students that is grounded on faith in God, ethical responsibility and commitment to serve other people and the country, deriving its educational philosophy and style from the educational principles and practice of an innovative educator and Christian humanist, St. Pedro Poveda.
Lawyer Emmanuel B. Palabrica, St. Mary’s School director, says his late brother Costello, who died in a plane crash years ago, founded St. Mary’s School and implemented principles that mold students to become better individuals.
Palabrica says from the very start, the school has adopted the Personalized Education Program (PEP), a pioneering educational innovation derived from the pedagogy of St. Pedro Poveda and introduced in the Philippines during the early ‘70s by Poveda Learning Centre in Quezon City.
He says this approach was later adopted by other private schools in the country.
“Our school was the first and perhaps the only school outside Manila that follows this program,” Palabrica shares.
He adds that their teachers had undergone series of trainings in PEP at Poveda Learning Center, focusing on teacher-student personal interaction and balance between individual and cooperative learning among students.
Palabrica says the PEP is particularly considered as one of the distinctive features of St. Mary’s School’s academic program that is not found in other schools.
Coming from a family of educators, he shares they made sure that they anchor excellence not just in academics but also in developing the emotional and physical quotient of the child through solid sports program and in identifying and developing the individual talent of the child through the enhancement program.
“Education is very important as it teaches us how to lead life, the basis of culture, the instruments for development of values and virtues. It cultivates a person into mature individuals. The future of our country is safe through what we call proper education, being the backbone of our society,” Palabrica says.
Last September 7 to 9, the school celebrated its 26th foundation anniversary with lots of activities.
This year’s theme is “Educating the youth in justice, peace and environmental protection” which signifies that the school can produce better products in helping the city and its environment.
The activity kicked off with a motorcade around the city followed by a ribbon cutting that signaled the start of the different activities for the three-day celebration.
During the first day, pre-school students made their parents proud with their native dance number as part of the field demonstration.
Adding up to the festivity is the setting up of different booths inside the campus with varieties of products and snacks to choose from.
In the afternoon, an invitational basketball game was held between St. Mary’s School varsity and Indahag National High School as guest players.
The first day of the activity would not be complete without family bonding as their wits were tested through a family quiz bowl.
The event was followed by the search for St. Mary’s School Idol Season 1 where the students showcased their talents.
On September 8, which is the foundation day, members of the faculty, students and parents paid tribute to Mother Mary through a Eucharistic celebration in time for her birthday followed by a Pista sa Nayon/Barrio Fiesta where everyone enjoyed sumptuous food.
Wrapping up the three-day festivity was a fun run, invitational games, bingo bonanza and a barn dance.
“Every year, we see to it that this event is something that our students and their families will enjoy and have fun,” Palabrica says.
He proudly says that on their 26 years of continuously promoting quality education, St. Mary’s School has already produced consuls, doctors, lawyers and nurses who are providing good service in the Philippines and in other countries.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 16, 2012.