New computer lab for remote school

An island education: Planza Elementary

A new computer laboratory is underway at Planza Elementary School thanks to VFV’s Adopt-A-School project.

The remote school situated on a small island in municipality Babatngon, about an hour from Tacloban, was selected for the Adopt-A-School project two years ago.

Multiple international donors adopted the school — funding annual teaching supplies and student materials. A Brazilian volunteer helping VFV distribute the materials was touched by the school’s isolation and donated a photocopying machine.

Teacher and Officer in Charge, Vergeña Ballais has worked at Planza Elementary for seven years. She is dedicated to her little school in the sea, making the gruelling twice-daily trip by jeepney, motorcycle and boat to work.

Vergeña said being selected for the Adopt-A-School project has transformed the school’s ability to educate its 204 students — the children of mostly fishermen and farmers.

Teacher and Officer in Charge, Vergeña Ballais

“It has been so helpful to have the teaching materials and the photocopier has made life so much easier,” said Vergeña.

“Our Department of Education fund was completely taken up by having to photocopy materials in Tacloban — now we can use it for school maintenance and teacher training!

“The pupils’ performance has increased because we are able to keep them interested with instructional materials — we had very little to work with before.”

The E-Lab — donated by UK organisation International Disaster Volunteers — will be installed this week and will supply the pupils with seven new computers.

“With the help of computers it will be much easier for the children to keep up with the national curriculum,” explained Vergeña.

“It also means when they leave the island to get work in the city, they will be computer literate which is so important.

“We are so very proud to be adopted through VFV, we are very thankful also!”

Would you like to make a difference to an underfunded school? Click here to find out more on VFV’s Adopt-A-School project!

*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia


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