RAINY days don’t bring happiness to the students and teachers of Sulpa National High School in the interior village of Sulpa in Villaba, Leyte.
“Every time it rains, many of our students will be absent. Worse, many of them got foot diseases due to the muddy road leading to our school,” said Sulpa NHS head teacher Eleanor Cariño.
In the recent week alone, Cariño said that at least five of their students failed to attend their classes because their feet got infected.
“The road, which is muddy until now, brings so much inconvenience to us. I hope that this will be cemented soon,” she added.
The school official said that her school, about 12 kilometers away from the town proper, has only about 200 meters of paved road. The rest of it is dusty during summer and muddy during the rainy season.
“When it rains, animal urine mixed with fecal matter are carried by water into the middle of the road, bringing diseases to everyone,” Cariño said.
Their school is located in the middle of a farm area where carabaos and other domestic animals are commonly found by the roadside.
Cariño said those who ride the habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) are lucky because they are spared from wading in muddy waters during rainy days.
Cariño also appealed for donors who can provide their students with some rain gear, specifically rain boots. Most of their 256 students could not afford these.
According to Cariño, their school’s maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) is only P 31,786 for the junior high school and P5,800 for the senior high school.
The amount allotted for medicine is only P1,500 per release of the MOOE, making it impossible for them to address students’ foot infections.
The Sulpa NHS, which has 19 teachers, caters to at least six nearby villages.
Edgar Tenasas, the assistant schools division superintendent in Leyte, said they plan to deploy the division’s medical staff to check the condition of the students.
“This is the initial thing we can do in response to the concern of Sulpa NHS because we are not in the position to offer a solution to the road issue since it is under the Department of Public Works and Highways and the local government unit of Villaba,” Tenasas said. (SunStar Philippines)