DONSOL, SORSOGON: Everyday, elementary pupils in the remote village of San Jose, Donsol town ride in a balsa or bamboo raft after a 30-minute to an hour of trekking to attend classes uphill of San Jose Elementary School, located some 20 kilometers away from town proper here.
But during rainy days and bad weather, pupils aree not allowed to report to school for safety reasons, Ryan Homan, 30, teacher-in-charge in this impoverished village of San Jose, Donsol town in Sorsogon province told The Manila Times.
He said most of his students ride in boats, rafts and some walk for at least an hour just to attend classes here.
“This is the reason why some students do not attend school especially during bad weather, while some don’t want to go to school as they live too far from the school and end up as drop–outs,” Homan added.
San Jose village is some 20 kilometers away from Donsol proper and is located uphill. It can be reached by motorboat from town proper after an hour cruise passing through the zigzagging wide river here that runs from Albay to Donsol river, where the renowned firefly watching can be seen. The river flows down to the sea that is a conduit rich with planktons that feeds the world’s gentile giant fish butanding or whaleshark.
To address this problem, Homan, created a doable strategy to be able to reach out the students through “Balsa-basa: Bankaarama and Walk for Knowledge” in far-flung area anchored on a Department of Education policy to address illiteracy.
Banka–araman means reaching though a boat while Walk for Knowledge means trekking to reach the houses of children. Homan said that most of his students ride in boats, rafts and some walk for at least an hour just to attend classes here.
The barangay council of San Jose allotted more than P1,000 budget to help the public school teachers of San Jose Elementary School led by Homan for this outreach mission.
“We provided snacks and lunch for pupils and teacher volunteers for our outreach mission. We bring in mobile library in boats, rafts and for home-based pupils. This remedial teaching and reading innovations are greatly appreciated by the parents as they witness their children improve in reading and boost their comprehension abilities,” he said.
Homan along with his fellow teachers visited the home of students situated in the far-flung barangays to teach the children during Saturdays and Sundays.
RHAYDZ B. BARCIA