By: Mong Jimenez
MARICEL Ledesma could still remember the first time she taught her first class. It was inside a conducive classroom – newly built to accommodate preschoolers from their village. 25 years later, Maricel still remains the town’s preschool teacher. She has mastered the craft of teaching through years of experience. Generations of learners have come and gone in her class. However, the classroom remained untouched.
Through time, the classroom had worn out. The facilities were old and feeble. The chairs and tables were incomplete yet the remaining ones were too shabby to use. Students would bring their own plastic chairs – others had no choice but to squat on the ground.
Teacher Maricel was worried about her students’ education. “An average of seven students would miss class every day,” she expressed. “When raining, parents would not allow their children to go to school because rainwater would leak through the old roof.”
Just last year, the classroom received a full renovation. A village councilor sought support from World Vision. The organization has established development programs and partnerships with the local leaders. Both parties agreed to work together for the project – World Vision provided the funds for construction materials while the community shouldered the labor expenses.
Now, the room that withstood 25 years is newly furbished – walls gleaming with bright paint and facilities looking sturdy and functional. Complete set of new chairs and tables were also donated.
Storybooks and other reading materials also fill the bookracks. According to their teacher, they look forward to the storytelling session every day.
“The new classroom set-up really improves the children’s learning,” the teacher cited. “We always have complete attendance since then.”
Parents also expressed how eager their children are to go to class.
The community-based approach of World Vision’s implementations empowers villages to become resilient and sustainable. The newly renovated classroom will not just help the current batch but also the upcoming generations of learners.