BACOLOR -- Classes at Don Bosco Academy-Bacolor formally started on Tuesday, June 13 after the Salesian institution successfully returned to its old site in Cabalantian village, which was devastated during the 1995 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
The eruption forced the academy to transfer its campus in Mabalacat City in 1996.
Fr. Ditto Gueco, vice provincial of the North Province of the Salesians of Don Bosco in the Philippines, told SunStar Pampanga on Wednesday, June 14, that a total of 403 students have enrolled at Don Bosco-Bacolor for school year 2017 to 2018.
Of this, he said, 159 students are in Grade 7, 28 in Grade 6, 42 in Grade 5, 38 in Grade 4, 29 in Grade 3, 43 in Grade 2, 45 in Grade 1, and 19 in Kinder.
“Of the 403 students, 352 are males and 51 females, making Don Bosco-Bacolor truly co-educational. Also, 354 are new enrollees from other schools while the other 49 students came from Mary the Queen Academy of Pampanga,” he said.
“As to the faculty, we have 14 veteran teachers from Don Bosco-Mabalacat City teaching here in the same Salesian system that ensures high quality education. We start a school day with the celebration of Holy Mass or what we call free masses for all,” Fr. Gueco said.
Classes for Grade 7 students started last June 13 and classes for grades 3 to 6 opened yesterday, while Kinder and Grade 5 students will troop to their classrooms on June 16.
“Enrolment is ongoing and will be until end of the month,” Fr. Gueco added.
According to Don Bosco Academy alumni Levy Laus, the clamor to reopen the institution prompted them to initiate talks and negotiations to bring back the campus to Bacolor.
With the provincial council of Don Bosco Academy Philippines, they took steps to meet the House of David Group, which acquired the property and established Mary the Queen Academy of Pampanga in the site in 2000.
Other initiatives Laus and Don Bosco alumni made were to raise an appeal to the Salesians in Turin, Italy to allow the re-opening of the Bacolor campus. After the documents were submitted to the Vatican City, Archbishop Florentino Lavarias gave his consent, and Salesian rector major Fr. Angel Fernandez, approved the reestablishment of the Bacolor campus last January 20.
"We, the past pupils of Don Bosco started this initiative back in July 2015, and fast forward today, we are very happy that finally, our beloved school has reopened and finally home," Laus earlier said. (JTD)
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on June 15, 2017.
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