GK SIBOL SCHOOL IN DON MANUEL VILLAGE SCHOOL YEAR 2011-2012 GRADUATES
By Orquidia Valenzuela Flores Thu 22nd March 2012
Since it was established in 2002 SIBOL Prep School has given free kindergarten lessons to children between the age of three and six years. By the end of this month 18 children who reached the age of six will begin formal elementary education when school year 2012-2013 opens in June. They are among the 61 children presently enrolled in SIBOL School.
GK Sibol Don Manuel School-Group 2 Prep Class 2011-2012 with teachers Minda Barcelo and Nancy Amantillo
SIBOL is a pre-education program of Gawad Kalinga (GK), a non-government organization. The school has an average enrollee of 60 children per school year. For the continuance of the program SIBOL relies on the support of benefactors and volunteers.
GK Sibol Don Manuel School-Group 1 Prep-Class 2011-2012 with their teachers, Minda Barcelo and Nancy Amantillo
Pre education or what is generally known as kindergarten training is required by the Department of Education before a child can begin Grade 1.
The beneficiaries of SIBOL program are children from three to six years coming from poor families who live in Don Manuel village in barangay Balingasa, Quezon City. Their houses were built by GK. The village can be reached from the main street by foot through a narrow passage, so narrow that not even a tricycle can pass through it.
GK Don Manuel Village-Barangay Balingasa-Q.C.
RECESSION AFFECTS SIBOL
As the world recession continues, the number of benefactors has dwindled and families in Don Manuel feel more the pinch of poverty.
St.Theresa’s College H.S. Class’70 (STCQCHS’70) is one of the first benefactors of SIBOL but because of the recession some members can no longer commit their help for the coming school year.
A major donor in the Netherlands who helped SIBOL in the past years is committed also to send help to charity and civic organizations in other countries.
Many individuals who gave before are presently on a budget.
For SIBOL’s classroom for the school year 2011-2012 which ends this March, the families of the school children already pitched in to pay the 2,500 peso rental of a seven sq. meter space as makeshift classroom. Before, SIBOL could use the third floor of Congressman Calalay Barangay Hall in Don Manuel as a classroom. But the hall was given to another group last year.
The situation is a deep concern for the villagers who want their children to start their foundation in a good kindergarten school.
The financial cutback will mean discontinuing the children’s once-a-week feeding program and purchase of school materials. Unless generous souls will come to their rescue, the chance is also big the children will not be given their basic needs like one uniform a year so they can come to school neatly dressed as most parents have no means to clothe them and also boots for the rainy season to avoid infectious diseases. There is a river in the village which is filthy because it is the outlet of nearby factories. When it rains hard or there is a typhoon it overflows.
The number one problem that faces SIBOL for school year 2012-2013 opening this coming June is the two teachers’ monthly compensation of 7,000 pesos each. For 10 months, the total amount is: ONE HUNDRED FORTY THOUSAND PESOS, P140,000 (+$3,255 / +EURO 2,545).
DONATIONS FROM FOREIGN BENEFACTORS
The donations of the last three years helped continue the SIBOL pre-school program.
Stiching Con Amor, a foundation in Utrecht through Myrla Danao, a friend for the past four decades, was informed about SIBOL. Con Amor financed the immediate rehabilitation and improvement of the school and urgent health care and needs of the children especially after typhoon ‘Ondoy” that brought destruction and sufferings to thousands in the country. The donation was also used to pay the teachers.
The amount received from Zaandam Steyl choir church group of Filipinos led by Cathy Manaoag was added to the funds for the teachers’ salaries and basic needs of the children.
Cathy Manaoag of Zaandam Steyl Choir Church Group chats with children of Sibol Project (November 2009-MN file photo)
Our Dutch friends and neighbours, also our children and close friends from Brussels Patricia Koorn and Tessie Lozada Selby from the United States remitted contributions to SIBOL.
Appointed volunteers of GK and the teachers acknowledge receipt of the contributions and attach bills of purchases in their report.
INTRODUCTION TO SIBOL:
We were introduced to the children and teachers in SIBOL four years ago when my sister-in-law Cynthia R. Valenzuela of STCQCHS’70 took us to Don Manuel Village.
We observed the teachers conduct the classes and were impressed by their professionalism. The pupils are divided into three groups. For the teachers this means starting early in the morning, leaving little time for rest.
Our attention was especially caught by the children who despite the scarcity of the basic necessities in life appeared eager to learn. They were neatly dressed in their school uniform courtesy of a kind-hearted person in Manila. The parents help in the school activities.
Since they started teaching in 2005, the two teachers of SIBOL, Minda Barcelo and Nancy Amantillo have devoted their time to educate the children for a better future. They attend seminars and workshops where they learn to design their curriculum and adapt it to the needs of the school and at the same time maintain a high standard of teaching. Many times they have to use their own resources in order to continue giving the children the needed training and education.
Minda and Nancy give updates on the progress of the children and present financial status of the Sibol project.
When we asked Barcelo why she decided to accept the meager salary her reply was, “These children whose lives were reduced to misery and helplessness possess nothing … There are times they come to school having no shoes and no breakfast….I have to win them from poverty to which they are constantly exposed once they go home from school. This pushes me to teach them the best I can, educating them with Christian moral values as SIBOL Program has endorsed.”
After witnessing the living condition of the families in Don Manuel, the school children and quality and method of teaching in SIBOL we decided to help the program.
FEBRUARY 2012 VISIT
Last February when Cindy Valenzuela, Annelies van Deudekom and Judith Lopez who are from the Netherlands, Eddie and I visited SIBOL the children impressed their new-found friends. They excitedly showed what they learnt, reciting the alphabet, writing and answering questions on simple addition and subtraction and even sang and danced for their guests.
Nancy Amantillo (top-left photo), one of the two teachers of SIBOL welcomes Orquidia Valenzuela and Cynthia Valenzuela at the entrance of GK Don Manuel Village.Bottom-right: Mothers of Sibol Children welcome guests.
To make learning for the kids interesting the lessons include songs and dances. The songs are with moral values. The children are taught simple prayers which they say before and after class.
Performing in MN in YouTube:…. The Children of Sibol Project-GK Don Manuel Village-QC
During our visit we asked for an update on the old pupils of SIBOL. We talked not only with the teachers but also met and listened to the mothers and grandmothers of the children who are now studying in the elementary schools outside Don Manuel.
Two mothers present their daughters who are now in their first grade Elementary School
They are very satisfied with SIBOL school, not only because it is the only one in their village but more so because of the teaching method and the school’s emphasis for moral values. They told us they heard the government will provide free kindergarten lessons. But, they still prefer their younger kids to study in SIBOL. In fact, they said other poor families outside Don Manuel have signified desire for their children to enroll in SIBOL. The high standard of the pre-education of SIBOL has spread outside Don Manuel.
They proudly showed us the report cards of the older children now in the elementary grades in schools outside their village.
UPDATE ON THE GRADUATES OF SIBOL:
The graduates of SIBOL who are mostly enrolled in Masambong and San Francisco and some in Binakayan elementary schools are excelling in their studies.
2005-2006 graduates are now 13 years old and in Grade 6. In top 3 of his class is Eugene Rhey Romero while Dazzle Anne Labina is in the top 5 of her class
2006-2007 school year the eight kids who graduated are presently in Grade 5.
2007-2008 school year, 35 kids who finished their prep training are now in Grade 4. Crystalyn Romero is a consistent honour student; Hanz Jake Posadas is in top 2 of his class; Raphael Poling is in top 2 of his class while Aubrey Velasco and Rio Jose Donoga are in tops. 5 and 6, respectively in their classes.
2008-2009, 28 children finished prep and are in Grade 3. At the top of their classes are Kyle Mari Monilla and Joy Tricia Francisco while Floredith Ann Ongcal is in top. 3.
2009-2010, the school produced the highest number of graduates, 52 who are in now Grade 2. The children are excelling in their schools. At the top of their class are Ashley Babe Arizo and Mirai Joyce San Diego; second to the best in their schools are Chrystel Mae Morada and Cyrille Natapang, Jerry Mae Palomado is also no. 2 in his class; Mari Claire Ann Moralde ranks third in her class; twins Ma.Daniela and Lilian Natapang rank numbers 4 and 5 in their class; Angela Ranas is in top 5 while Loraine Ventura in top 7 in their class; Ann Raizal Giray and Jheanne Grace Allado occupy the top 6 and 7 rank in their class.
2010-2011 there were 25 who entered Grade I in three elementary schools. At the top of the class of their respective schools are Christian Jake Adante, Jericho Mendoza, Desire Limpahan and Laarni Rose Rubaya; in top 3 are Kyla Marie Monilla and Jade Acero; in top 5 is Ellia Maure; in top 6 is John Chua and John Cyril Lacasa is in top 7.
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