Better days ahead for rural school

Tugop Elementary School, Tanauan

The teachers and students of remote Tugop Elementary School will receive a year’s worth of teaching supplies and educational materials plus some new equipment thanks to VFV’s Adopt-A-School program.

A group of donors in Australia have adopted the tiny Tanauan school which lost all of its resources in Typhoon Yolanda.

Lita Indic, who teaches grades five and six in the same classroom, has worked at the school for 17 years. She said the pupils’ education has suffered since the storm.

“After the typhoon we had no teaching materials; we had nothing left,” said Indic.

“It has been very difficult because the pupils struggle to retain information from listening alone.”

Desperate for a teaching tool other than their own voices, the Tugop teachers held on to a stack of books washed up after the storm.

Rotting books: the only remaining resource for Tugop teachers

“The books are a mess ­— they smell terrible and the pages are stuck together — but we cannot throw them away because they are all that we have,” said Indic.

“All this time we have been waiting for our assistance from the Department of Education but nobody is coming.”

Donor Ron Bailie said it is important to focus on helping schools get back on their feet post-Yolanda.

“These children will build their community’s future so it is imperative we give them the tools to enable them to be their best,” he said.

The first load of supplies, including pencils, paper, books and chalk, will reach the school’s 202 pupils next week.

“This is very good news for the teachers and the students,” said Indic.

“It will be a great help because the pupils will be interested and motivated to come to school.”

The donor group will also fund the purchase of a television and DVD player for science lessons.

Would you like to help an underfunded rural school get back on its feet? Click here to find out more about VFV’s Adopt-A-School Project!

*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia


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