NEW hope for a better future has come to indigent kids of Titay and Ipil municipalities in Zamboanga Sibugay and the students of Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School (DPLMHS) in Zamboanga City as previous concerted efforts now bear fruit.
Myra Curativo, 10, of Kitabog Elementary School in Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay joyfully played her flute to welcome Pilar Rodriguez of Fundacion Humanismo Y Democracia (H+D) during the groundbreaking ceremony of a two-classroom school building in their village. That was more than a year ago. Today, together with other school children, they are happy to occupy and use the newly constructed classroom funded by AECI (Agencia Española de Cooperacion International) through H+D.
Meanwhile in Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School, Zamboanga City, students were amazed to see the gadgetry in their speech lab. For the first time since the founding of their school, they are able to use the speech laboratory to enhance their skills and proficiency in English language.
The crucial role played by stakeholders hastened the realization of the projects. Twenty-eight new classrooms have been constructed in Zamboanga Sibugay’s 12 schools, decongesting overcrowded classrooms and increasing classroom-to-student ratio. Another two-classroom school building is being finished, bringing to a total of 30 classrooms all in all.
Initial phase in the implementation of supplemental feeding project has reached out to about 550 indigent kids in Zamboanga Sibugay, substantially helping poor families meet the food requirements of their school-aged children.
Students in this province particularly in village schools usually experience a shortage of chairs and desks, forcing them to sit or squat on the floor. Four thousand one hundred ninety armchairs were distributed by the project to at least 40 elementary schools in Sibugay, increasing chair-to-student ratio particularly in congested schools. Another 3,060 chairs were also provided for the students of Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School in Zamboanga City.
Young Myra sees nothing but positive signs in the assistance from AECI during the groundbreaking for a school building in their village last year. For her,it proved that despite the remoteness of her place to the nearest urban place in Zamboanga Sibugay or Zamboanga City, opportunities to access quality education is still within her reach.
One thousand one hundred school children like her in Sibugay have also received various school supplies as part of the education aid package from Spain. Included in the assistance were shoes, socks, school bags and rain gears. The same education materials were also provided to at least 1,000 scholars in Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School. Students of Makilas National High School and Pangi National High School all in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay are also glad to have received assorted science laboratory and technology and livelihood equipment from the aid project.
All this shows that the immensity of education-related problems confronting school children in Zamboanga Sibugay and some parts of Zamboanga City are not impossible to solve. Like Myra, school children in these depressed villages could still hope for a brighter future amidst the challenges from those who aim to make difference in this world.