Going to School in Payatas
In the U.S. children dress up in their new school clothes or uniforms, have a nutritious breakfast, grab their new school supplies and leave for school. Some get rides from their parents, some walk if it’s close or take school buses.
Unlike one part of the Philippines where they were celebrating that someone donated some boats so the kids didn’t have to hitch hike on fishing boats or actually swim to get to school, arriving dripping wet.
Oh, we take so much for granted but if only when we found out about these things we would not just say , “Oh, that’s too bad,” but actually get involved and help.
http://escobia225.multiply.com/photos/album/153 (click to view a look inside a local elementary school)
Right here in Payatas the children were interviewed on television about their first day. The children answered honestly. They said the classrooms are too crowded. there are not enough chairs in which to sit. They partitioned classrooms to make more and they share a common overhead light. One parent takes her child to school early to make sure she gets the seat under the light. Some fixtures do not have bulbs.
The bathrooms and halls are filthy and the people who get paid to clean don’t. they do as little as they can.
On opening day I sent my wife down to oversee the local elementary school enrollment. There was a man and a woman sitting at a desk and the children had to squeeze by them to enter the compound where the shade was. My wife said to them why are you blocking the way when there are so many children outside. He said , “It’s hot out there , you tell deped (Department of Education) to build us a shed.” My wife said, “The children are the priority here. ” Then they moved the desk and let them in. They did not want to be hot but is was okay for the children to suffer.
On the way out my wife noticed the same man was smoking right there with the children and she told him it was illegal but he ignored her.
There are children who do not go to school because they are told they need to pay library card fees and other fees as well as lost book fees. The parents can’t afford it so the children stay out of school. Perhaps they will work in a garbage junk shop.
We went down with one of our Church children to pay a lost book fee and the teacher said she had four lost books. The child denied it. On top of that, their were no receipts given only figures added up and written on a blank piece of paper to be paid.
We investigated and found out from DepED that especially in the poor area which is Payatas, there are no fees and no charge for lost books. It seems the teachers charge these fees to make their own extra money.
There are many dedicated teachers who love their work but there are those who are corrupt as are many other parts of this Government.
Many of these kids can’t spend the $5 or so to buy school supplies. They get to school and there are no air conditioners, not even fans and so they sit and swelter in their classes.
If you would like to donate for school supplies, please specify after clicking above.
If you are in the Philippines or out and can write to someone to pay attention to these problems and to correct them. Please do.