By Helen Castaño|10:01 PM August 03, 2020
The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has not hindered a group of youth leaders in Barangay Bahi, Alburquerque town to push for continuous learning to their youngsters in their barangay.
Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) chairman Kien Alphe Garsuta led his fellow SK officials to also push and bring this mobile library and classroom to the different communities there.
Launched last July 18, they dubbed this as the “Project Tulak Karunungan – eSKwela Program Mobile Kariton Klasrum” with an aim of also diverting the children’s attention from their gadgets to reduce screen time.
They realigned their funding from some of their activities to fund this project, which cost them P35,000 for the creation of the mobile kariton (cart) with bookshelves, purchase of learning materials and school supplies, and snacks for the children.
Their target beneficiaries are those children from kindergarten up to Grade 4.
“Through this mobile library, we want to continue what they have learned in schools,” said Garsuta.
PUSHING FORWARD EDUCATION AMIDST COVID-19 RISKS, GEOGRAPHICAL CHALLENGES
The team is composed of 11 SK barangay councilors and one volunteer.
They go around their barangay with a pushcart filled with books and reading materials, including pails and chairs.
Their routine includes pushing the mobile cart on some up and down slopes that they pass along the way.
There was even a time where they had to use a rope just to bring the mobile cart even to the farthest mountain community in their barangay.
The children are seated on separate chairs with at least a distance of one meter from each other. They are also wearing their facemasks while classes are ongoing.
Books and other learning materials on their cart sparked the interests of the children. Through this, they are now attending their mobile classroom with confidence.
The team is teaching kids basic Alphabet reading, basic Mathematics, tracing of letters, storytelling with moral lessons, spelling (different basic words), identifying shapes and colors, and demonstration on proper handwashing.
Eight-year-old Niezel Alingasa was among the children who attended their class.
“I appreciate it because I learn something. It’s fun,” she said.
Niezel would now be among the Grade 3 students who will be attending school if classes were to push through come Aug. 24.
A PRODUCT OF CAREFUL BRAINSTORMING
Garsuta emphasized that this wouldn’t happen if not for careful brainstorming that they have done.
He added that they were given a nod from their municipal government and their local Interior and Local Government office to push through with this project.
Under the Omnibus Guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, “mass gatherings such as but not limited to, movie screenings, concerts, sporting events, and other entertainment activities, religious services, and work conferences shall be allowed provided that participants shall be limited to fifty percent (50%) of the seating or venue capacity” in areas under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
The town of Alburquerque currently remains COVID-19 free.
Garsuta and his team are truly making a difference.
Hopefully, their efforts will continue to inspire students and other youth leaders, especially in Bohol to also replicate their project.