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Magata-Manggahan Elementary School: The Quest for the 21st Century School in a Remote Area

Teachers will always be heroes to everyone. Their main role is to educate not only the mind of their pupils but also to touch their hearts. Long and distant locations, rough roads, lack of phone signal, lack of clean drinking water, and many other issues or needs are not considered as hindrances in molding their learners. It is also not a problem for them to make the school into their shelter, their home, and transforming it to one of the most beautiful, well ventilated, and lovable places, and schools located in a remote area.

One such example is the Magata-Manggahan Elementary School. Built in the year 1985 in Sitio Manggahan, Brgy. Laiban, Tanay, Rizal, the school brought basic quality elementary education to the children and learners of Sitio Magata, Sitio Manggahan and other nearby sitios of General Nakar, Quezon, becoming the second home of most of Katutubong Dumagat.

The school started with just one makeshift building, having three rooms made of bamboo, sawali, timber, and other light materials. Though the school had a simple beginning for educating pupils, School Heads and Teachers being deployed always gave the best quality of education to their learners. Thus from the year the school was built until the present, many learners were able to graduate in Magata-Manggahan Elementary School.

From nothing to something, Magata-Manggahan Elementary School became an establishment that everyone can be proud of. Through the help of stakeholders and partners, the school is now one of the solar-powered schools located in the District of Tanay II-A.  Eight rooms made from concrete materials which are more conducive to learning for the pupils have also been made.

Magata-Manggahan Elementary School also has their own school ground with a stage for outdoor activities, a garden planted with varieties of vegetables and root crops, six comfort rooms for teachers and pupils, and finally, a Home Economics Room where cooking and feeding programs are being held every day.

The teachers have also benefited from the changes. The H.E. Room serves as their quarters, to limit the cause of renting a separate house and enabling them to better care for the entire school. Despite being away from home, the ambience of the teachers’ quarters is not too far from their own home. It is very comfortable with a nice living room, modern kitchen, two cozy bedrooms that have two double deck beds, and one clean comfort room.

Aside from their living space, the teachers are also getting an upgrade with their teaching materials.  From Grade 1 to Grade 3, they have their own Smart LED televisions paired with their smartphones which are used for executing creative and modern approach of educating their pupils. Teachers from Grade 4 to 6 have their own attractive, tangible, and reliable learning materials for developing the minds of their learners.

All these improvements have largely benefited the 217 learners from kinder to grade 6 with the Teacher-in-Charge Mrs. Lolita D. De Leon and six teachers: Miss Mary Joy O. Juanillo Teacher of Kinder and Grade 1, Miss Kim P. Racaza Teacher of Grade 2, Miss Jennelyn P. Dela Cruz Teacher of Grade 3, Mr. Marvie Aliwalas Teacher of Grade 4, Miss Irene P. Cometa Teacher of Grade 5 and Mrs. Eireen Camano Teacher of Grade 6, and two utility workers who are residents of the community.

Last year, the graduation was held in their own school, attended by the Principals and District Supervisor of Tanay II. This year another big event in the history of the school, the 2016 Regional IPED Immersion, was held. It was a great privilege for the school of Magata-Manggahan Elementary to witness the gatherings of Teachers, Principals, Supervisors and Regional Supervisor and Personnel from DepEd CALABARZON solely for the beloved IPED community.

The school endlessly thanks the stakeholders and partners. Magata-Manggahan Elementary School wouldn’t have come this far without them. School Head and Teachers are still looking for more ways to improve the school to make a difference to the lives of their learners and also to the IP community. They continue dreaming and having goals, not only for the learners but also for the school as it represents who they are and how passionate they are in their chosen field. Even if the teachers will be deployed to other schools, what they have planted will be harvested and will continue to evolve to touch other lives.

Ms. Jennelyn P. Dela Cruz and Mr. Marvie P. Aliwalas
Magata-Manggahan, Division of Rizal

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