A WALK THROUGH SSC’S ADOPTED SCHOOLS
Sr. M. Celine Saplala, OSB
TANAUAN II Elementary School, Tanauan, Leyte
St. Scholastica’s College’s tradition of reaching out to the poor in the country became truly palpable in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda. The idea to adopt a school damaged by the super typhoon started to unfold when Srs. Vida, Noella, Celine and Judith went to visit and bring housing materials to our employees whose houses in Leyte and Samar were devastated. In a chance meeting with Fr. Ronnel Tabuzo at the Divine Word Hospital, Sr. Celine learned of the terrible situation of St. Vincent Parish, in Tanauan town, one of the four most devastated municipalities in Leyte. Fr. Tabuzo recounted how the four schools located in his parish were all badly damaged. The idea of Sr. Mary Thomas to adopt a public school was told to Fr. Ronnel and he warmly welcomed it.
On January 19-21, 2014, Sr. Mary Thomas, SSC President, Sr. Regina, the GS Principal, Dean Rebecca Marquez of the Student Affairs, and Prof. Aurora Lumibao of the MassCom Department visited Tanauan II Elementary School. They had a talk with Mrs. Elena Latoza , Principal II who shared about their needs, namely: debriefing of the teachers and pupils, uniforms of teachers and pupils and school supplies to last until the end of SY 2013 – 2014. On the other hand, the SSC Team saw the need for the urgent repair of teaching aids and learning facilities like the blackboards, dividers for classrooms, tables for teachers; books, and other teaching aids. Thus YAKAP-ESKWELA was born.
Intended to be a consortium project of the Consortium of Benedictine Colleges in Manila (CBCM), this was enthusiastically accepted in the meeting of SSC, San Beda Mendiola and Alabang. San Beda Taytay joined in the succeeding meetings. All the schools now are preparing materials to meet the expressed needs of the adopted school, so that by the time of the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on March 28, 2014, these items could be our initial and concrete form of embracing the school in our hearts, a YAKAP-ESKWELA indeed!
ALCADEV, Hay-ayan, Lianga
Up in the mountains of Han-Ayan, Lianga, Surigao del Sur, a nipa hut stands to serve as a school for the children of the Lumads. Built by the Alternative Learning Center of Agricultural and Livelihood Development , Inc. (ALCADEV), it is a venture on an alternative learning system for Secondary Education for the Indigenous peoples in the area, the Lumads, mostly the Manobos.
How did St. Scholastica’s College come in contact with the ALCADEV? Through the Community of Benedictine Sisters in Marihatag, Surigao del Sur whose apostolate bring them in contact with the Lumads’ situation and needs. In the search for creative and appropriate methods of learning to incarnate its mission for education for justice and social transformation, SSC started the relations with the Lumads through the help of the Marihatag Sisters.
For the past years now, visits to the town particularly to the mountains of Han-ayan where the ALCADEV, is located saw sisters, faculty and students of the college unit bringing goods and school supplies for the children and the school. SSC college teachers shared their expertise on art and woodwork, health exercises and methods of teaching. ALCADEV on its part offered their experience on ways of learning and teaching indigenous peoples as well as in caring for the environment through sharing seeds of native trees and other local products
Every July 11 institutional Eucharistic celebration of the Solemnity of St. Benedict, each unit brings an assigned item as their offering to our adopted mountain school. The grade schoolers bring brightly colored rubber slippers, while the high school give umbrellas and raincoats to provide the children shelter from the rain as they walk to school. The college students offer water proof envelopes containing school supplies like pad paper, notebooks, crayons, pencils and ball pens. All these are gathered by the Institutional Social Action Center then packed and shipped to ALCADEV. There school children and faculty are overjoyed receiving these blessings and convey their deep gratitude to SCC led by our School President.