School for Indigenous Students in South Cotabato Grateful for Local and Foreign Sponsors
By Edwin Mercurio
March 7, 2017
Lake Sebu, Philippines -“Santa Cruz Mission School Inc. (SCMSI) an educational institution catering to the needs of seven indigenous tribes for the past 55 years reports an increase of the number of school children for the year 2016-2017,” say Maria Gandam, School President.
The increase of enrolment has been credited by Ms. Gandam due to the support of sponsors from Nederland, Japan, Australia, local sponsors, Kabugwason Scholarship Program, South Cotabato Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce thru Mr. Domingo Teng Foundation, Inc., Congressman Ferdinand Ledesma Hernandez, Rural Health Unit (RHU) and Local Government of Lake Sebu, Notre Dame of Marbel University and the Philippine Government thru the Department of Education, and Commission on Higher Education.
Some of the students and pupils walked almost two hours from their hinterland abode to reach their school sites, crossing mountains and hanging bamboo bridges and rushing rivers. Some students ride horses for half an hour, while others cross the lakes by dug-out canoe.
Despite these difficulties, the enrolment of native students from the T’boli, Ubo, B’laan, Kalagan, Tiruray, Bagobo and Maguindanaon tribes increased with a total of 2,359 students.
Ms. Gandam acknowledges the assistance of sponsors in bringing quality education and making it accessible to the indigenous communities in the hinterland province of South Cotabato, Philippines.
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