From the Ground Up

Posted 7 months ago

by: Catherine Zita B. Gomez


We have all heard about the perilous journeys that our parents had to go through – climbing mountains, or might be crossing rivers, just so they could get to school every day. That extra bit of hard work, was for the very sake of education.  

The situation brings us to a new scenario if the main problem is our second home – our classrooms. However, for educator Rodrigo C. Mabano, making his own classroom for his learners from scratch, was hope for the future for his educators.  

Humble beginnings  

Pablo Villamera Integrated School – the thought of proper classrooms with chairs, tables, and even a blackboard, seemed impossible with the financial instability that the school had to go through. Despite those strugglesRodrigo C. Mabano, who teaches in Pablo Villamera Integrated School, took a step on building his own classroom to support his pursuit and vision for his students, setting a brighter future for them and bringing it to a proper educational atmosphere.  

“We started in a bodega-like classroom that the structure was made of bamboo and we struggled a lot in having good ventilations, [we] tried to improvise chairs, doors and windows. On rainy seasons, we struggled a lot on how to keep our limited learning resources dry and safe.” said Mr. Mabano 

One problem may have been out of the way, but new ones seem to arise and take over. The makeshift classroom had bad ventilation and was extremely vulnerable to the weather. The local government of San Fernando saw the current state of the school and began to merged partnership with RAFI through the Education Development Unit – School Rebuild Program (EDU-SRP) for the improvement of its classrooms.  

Frankly speaking, the hardship we’ve been through in building this makeshift classroom was the financial aspect as our school was not that big and the finances were not enough to support the makeshift classroom being built. Gladly, there were stakeholders who were thoughtful and generous in helping this dream realized for the learners. This has helped ease their struggles from staying on an open-space platform as our secondary classroom back when we were still planning and building the classroom. We felt so overwhelmed because this could be a good avenue for our learners to have an effective and efficient learning that could mold them to be our future professional,” shared Mabano.  


The Lesson Learned  

At the end of the day, experiences make us stronger  including those that brought us hardships and struggles. Despite all these, we need to take action for those who are struggling instead of letting them be and only applaud for their determination and sheer will.  

Education is for all; it is a human right. The social status nor the financial stability should not dictate the quality of education that once can get. With such hard work our educators have been through, it is only fair to provide the necessary aid for them to achieve their goals that will help the betterment of the next generation’s future.

The Education Development Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-EDU) helps in the formation of effective learning environments by providing high-quality, cost-effective school infrastructure and by capacitating school communities for the continuous improvement of learning outcomes.