June 15, 2010, the first day of school and media reported the numerous complaints about the No Collection Policy of DepEd(DepEd Order No. 65 s.2010).With a usual 7000 students enrolled in Lagro High School, the plantilla of DepEd National Roll of Employees provided only 2 security guards and 4 utility workers to monitor order, peace and cleanliness in the school premises.
Imagine the chaos if there was no authorized contribution collection.
Looking at my journalism room (40 monoblock chairs to house more than 100 students regularly during class hours, no electricity due to a nearby building pending construction and no facilities except that less than 25 sq meter room) made me reflect about the school publication fee(authorized school contribution as per reference to Republic Act 7079, Campus Journalism Act of 1991) usually collected by the PTA and on a voluntary basis.
The collection annually reported and submitted in Financial Statements to the Division of City Schools for auditing purposes can only fund the school paper and registration fees in press conferences (district, division, regional and national level) and other writing contests complying to the said republic act. These are old perennial problems existent in public schools and teaching for ten years serving the underprivileged youth of Quezon City have molded me to be more amiable, understanding and compassionate to the community and the children.
What is new? Old tricks and new dogs.
1. The studentry have become more responsible with the Supreme Student Government assisting incoming students in all levels in locating new classrooms with the aide of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines members.
2. The Philippine National Police have deployed 2 police officers for peace and order assistance in schools. They have looked for a shaded place(the guard house) to text and watch tv while on duty leaving the student Boy Scouts and the limited PTA funded security to monitor students entering the gates ,beating the scorching sun while assisting the students.
3. The principal, the PTA president (also the Barangay Captain) and the Administrative Officer have signed approving the class schedule but like old tricks of loafing notorious teachers, the regular teachers were left confused with conflict in schedules.
These incidents defined normal and common in most public high schools. Don't get me wrong for without the initiatives of the studentry, least people concerned and all these characters, it wouldn't be a struggle one among those thousands will stand out and win in competitions.
Yes, all these uncanny incidents may drive critics feasting for passe culture of corruption and beauracracy consistent of worsening the Philippine educational system but I am adamant believing I am at least in the service of the real Filipino unlike the majority yapping making the rich richer in the corporate world.
Our journalism room I share with the Filipino journalism class has no electricity, no ventilation, dusty, dirty and has no facilities but boasts of trophies consistent of its rank in being one of the schools highest pointers in press conferences. Though these trophies we normally get in awarding ceremonies we have always coined "mosquito coil holders", we continue to strive amongst these circumstances aiming for the highest recognition. These students need those heads-up to be motivated to learn further and inspire the indifferent majority of what learning with circumstances mean in all aspects.
At least we have a roof to cover our heads during rainy season unlike the my first batch of my writing staff who are now working in the networks and the corporate world.
We have a lot to be grateful about, including all these painful realities and circumstances, otherwise the private schools would be comparable to having conveniences and producing unemployed and underemployed citizens of Quezon City.
I will always want to be in this classroom.