Jake D. Fraga

By Jake D. Fraga
Teacher III, Tagongon Central Elementary School
Tagbina District II, Surigao del Sur Division

If we can make the world a better place to live in, is school not part of the world?

A school is not just a learning environment to the learners. It is also a home for those who feel rejected, a haven for those abused, and a stage for those who want to show off their talents. It is in the school where future nation-builders are holistically honed.

One of the schools in Surigao del Sur Division that brought Caraga Region on the map of wrestling champions in the recently concluded Palarong Pambansa is the Anibongan National High School headed by Ms. Jean G. Coquilla. This school, however, has not only focused on athletic competition. It has also received recognition for School-Based Management (SBM) Level III and national-level Brigada Eskwela implementation. To Assistant Regional Director Fidela A. Rosas, CESO V, Anibongan NHS has blossomed more through bayanihan.

“Bayanihan as a concerted effort of building a house long before is what we portray now in Brigada Eskwela. We are not building a home here in Anibongan, we are building a community of people,” ARD Rosas said.

Bayanihan, which means a spirit of unity and cooperation in the community, is one of the traditional Filipino practices. It is usually demonstrated when the neighbors or a group of volunteers helped a relocating family by carrying the whole house to its new location. This practice has somehow been manifested in the implementation of National Schools Maintenance Week or Brigada Eskwela.

With almost 1000 stakeholders who have participated in the Regional Brigada Eskwela Kick-Off in Anibongan NHS, one may find the spirit of unity through the overwhelming support of the different entities and private individuals. Thus, bayanihan has turned into a desirable trait that is shown in a more unified community.

The Assistant Regional Director believed that “no one can build a village on his own. It takes the whole village of educated people to create an educated village to make it a progressive village. We are not building a school. We are building a community—a community that has education as a tool for progress , as what our theme says, ‘Matatag na Bayan para sa Maunlad na Paaralan’.”

Thus, the community has a very important role as it serves as the school’s partner in developing the learners. It makes the school more than just a home, and it helps the school attain its ultimate goal—making learners reach their full potential.

If the world without schools is empty, then the school without learners is emptier. But a school that blossoms with the help of the community will truly make the world a better place for living and for learning. ■

(N.B. This article was first published in “An Madayaw”, the official publication of Surigao del Sur Division, May 16, 2019).