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For Learning Pursuits

“Gusto kong ma-motivate ang mga bata sa amin na mag-aral. Para naman hindi na dumagdag pa sa mga out-of-school youth sa aming lugar, kasi sadyang napakarami na nila,” (I want the children to be motivated to study and learn. So that it would not help increase the number of out-of-school youth in our place, because there are already quite a lot) said Ms. Luzviminda Diamamo, a teacher from Brgy. Estrella Village in the municipality of Narra, Palawan.

Now she needs not to worry about the status of out-of-school youth in their barangay because she is confident that this June, many children would be more than happy to enroll in the newly-built school of the barangay.

The 1-unit 2-classroom high school building was no less than an effort of the barangay itself through the help of Kalahi-CIDSS. Kalahi-CIDSS stands for the Kapit-bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services. It is a poverty alleviation program of the DSWD that uses a community-driven development approach. Kalahi-CIDSS empowers the communities by making them participate in governance to ensure that their needs are addressed. Resources are given to the community, and from there, they decide on the sub-project that would efficiently address their need.

According to Ms. Diamamo, the educational attainment of children in the barangay is low. Only 25% of those who finished elementary are the ones who can afford to go to high school which is located in nearby barangay. Unfortunately, the remaining 75% of children accounts for those who do not have the means to pursue high school due to the costs it incurs, especially in transportation.

On the average, a child who goes to high school would need Php1,000 a month for his transportation and meal allowances. The 14 to 16 kilometer ride to the school every single day would definitely hurt anyone’s pocket. Two rides will have to be taken to reach the said school.

It comes with no surprise that Ms. Diamamo put high regards to education as she is a teacher herself. But her concern transcends over matters of transportation costs. More than the expenses, it is the situation of those who can’t go to high school that bothers her. Many girls got pregnant, while some tend to marry at a very young age. “Dahil kulang nga sa edukasyon, marami ang napariwara ang buhay,” (Because of lack of education, many have gone astray in life) noted Ms. Diamamo. Those children have potential, but sadly, the lack of money to go to school, and more so the lack of school building in the barangay hindered them in achieving their goals.

Given the situation, Brgy. Estrella Village opted to have a high school building as their sub-project. They knew that it is important to cater the education needs of the children in their barangay. Not only it would be of great help to the parents in terms of expenses, but also it would somehow stop the budding rate of teen pregnancy and young marriages.

Ms. Diamamo said that Kalahi-CIDSS made the school building possible for them. She attests that words will not be enough to express their gratitude for everything that was taught to them by Kalahi-CIDSS. By far, the project’s transparency is the one thing that will be greatly remembered by them. Not only will it be made tangible through the newly-built school building, but will also signify the community’s participation and involvement in the Kalahi-CIDSS process.

She hopes that with the coming school opening, children will be inspired and driven to learn, much more than the barangay’s drive for participation with Kalahi-CIDSS. Sure enough, a Php1,553,000.00 cost for a school building is not too much given the number of minds and skills it would nurture and hone in the years to come. No amount could probably equal that to a certain extent. ###

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