THIS is a perennial consideration when we all read that the fiscal year list of major funding includes Education with the highest priority. How come that until now we cannot give a school building in every community of a Barangay to cater to the needs of the grass roots level. It is a matter of a short and long range planning of the DepEd in planning where schools are direly needed. It should reach the farthest hinterlands and mountain areas in a Barangay or LGU boundaries.
I had been crusading for this since the early 60s when I started teaching. My most traumatic experience was to see my former education student assigned to teach in the hinterlands riding in a boat carrying all her school teaching paraphernalia. Shooting the rapids, my student's boat capsized and she was missing. Only her books and school needs were seen floating around. I shuddered at the possible reason for her disappearance. The river shelter huge crocodiles and my student must have been devoured by one of them. I prayed for my hero, my student who died doing her noble work as a teacher. This was long time ago.
Nowadays, I still shudder at the sacrifices of pupils and students who travel endangering their lives to reach a far flung school. Some wade or even swim going to school. They pack reserved clothes in waterproof bags to change their wet clothes upon reaching the school. Some cross angry streams by holding on to tight rope makeshift bridges, one to walk on and two to hold on till they reach the road to school. Others would walk and hike through kilometers of dirt road in the mountains wearing rubber slippers.
The teachers from the towns carrying their school paraphernalia would ride the "Habal habal", a motorcycle fitted with space for the teachers things. These hero teachers leave their young kids at the child-minding centers where caring foster parents take care of them, feed them, provide games and toys for them.
It is imperative that DepEd will draw a short and long range plan to establish schools in every Barangay. A school must be built in any barrio reachable by walking on roads or riding in tricycles. Where possible one barrio can serve more students. Many philanthropic groups like ABS CBN with its "Lingap sa Pamilya" Program builds schools where they are direly needed. They give pupils their complete supply of school needs as bags, pencils, pad papers, crayons, erasers, etc. Shoe Mart has its own regular helps, too. Aboitiz Inc. regularly helps the communities.
The indigenous Tribal groups as the Lumads are given special attention. They are assigned teachers specially with the knowledge of their traditions, beliefs, and norms of life in preparing their curriculums. Included too are basic learning of the western methods just in case they will go to such schools. These tribal groups must be protected from the presence of Military Forces in their localities.
As a dedicated educator, I have my Dream Scenario of every Filipino child to have a well - rounded background on what to be educated means. It starts with the Filipino home imbued with a family life of loving and caring parents, mother and father and their children. They should be aware of good conduct and moral behavior, cooperation, camaraderie among their classmates and respect and obedience for their teachers. For comments text mobile no. 09202112534.