Continuing with the usual campus grind, the admistration, faculty, studentry and the entire general parents-teachers association of Sto. Niño Sped Center, one the government-run schools hit by the killer supertyphoon Yolanda last year, convened for the first time this year, their first, too, after the occurrence of the shocking disaster. Although not yet fully recovered from the effects of the calamity’s devastation, the members of the GPTA concluded the general assembly with a consensus that wooed no resistance from the group.
SNSC Principal Delilah De Los Santos reported with mixed emotions the present condition of the school and the significant drop in the number of students who returned to the campus to continue with their studies. Six pupils and a teacher from this renowned institution of academic excellence perished during the megastorm’s onslaught. From 1042 during enrollment in June last year, there are officially 793 pupils who went returned to SNSC or a 24% drop in the entire school population.
Of the 36 classrooms of the schools only 12 remained functional, while the rest were either left roofless. Even the principal’s office and the two canteens where apparently vacuumed and rendered useless by the sty Yolanda.
This time, SNSC is beneficiary of assistance from various local, national and international organizations, such as UNICEF, Child Fund, Korea International Cooperation Agency, Philippine Red Cross, Chinese Red Cross, Solid Group Foundation, Jollibee group of companies, Alpha Phi Omega, HOPE and some church-based groups. Help came in various forms like psycho-socio and stress debriefing activities, nutritious food, potable water, electronic gadgets, power-generating set, arm chairs, classrooms and learning materials.
The GPTA, headed by Tacloban City Prosecutor Higinio Yazar, financed the repair of three classrooms of the school which partitions were knocked down by Yolanda’s storm surge. It will also finance the gasoline maintenance of the power-generating set and the other major concerns of the school now that the maintenance and operating expenses fund of the DepEd, including that of SNSC for January is yet being processed, while that for November and December were reverted back to the national coffers.
De Los Santos informed that the construction materials delivered by the Department of Public Works and Highways(DPWH) lay idle on the schoolyard awaiting the team of carpenters that will work of the repair needed to be done on the main schoolbuilding’s roof wrought by Yolanda.
She said that the DPWH laborers are working on the double in other assignments, but promised to be next in line. She added that when the 6-classroom schoolbuilding that the Solid Group foundation will be finished, the Grade IV pupils will also have their whole-day classes once more. For now, after momentary shifting schedule, the Grades V and VI levels are back in their whole-day schedule.
De Los Santos conveyed her gratitude to all the individuals and groups who helped in the rebuilding and recovery efforts of the school administration and the GPTA saying. A member of the Couples for Christ, she exclaimed her gratefulness at the general assembly, “Thank God, we have good people who are helping us.” She stressed further, “Faith works wonders.”
For now, the pupils and others in the campus freely avail of the feeding program of the Jollibee group of company such as congee, chicken tinola and sautéed mongo, with ingredients from the Mang Inasal and Chowking and water from PRC.
By: EILEEN NAZARENO-BALLESTEROS