For the ‘new normal classes,’ Maguindanao public school teachers appeal for bond paper, ink donations

SOUTH UPI, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 10 August) – Some public school teachers at a remote impoverished community here are knocking on the hearts of Good Samaritans to donate bond papers and computer printer inks as they gear up for the “new normal” when classes open on August 24.

Carabao is the usual ride in Sitio Bahar, Barangay Pandan in South Upi, Maguindanao, where this boy will soon adjust to the new normal of non-face-to-face modular classes. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

These teachers have been told to prepare their modules that will be used by pupils who have no access to computers and the internet, and that these learning materials must be ready when classes start in two weeks’ time.

But some teachers have voiced out their concerns about module preparations due to lack of supplies coming from the government, including Noemi Carino, a Grade 6 teacher at Sitio Bahar in Barangay Pandan here.

“We really need bond papers, huge supplies of bond papers because we have high number of enrollees who will be provided with modules in hard copies,” Carino said.

Nemia Ramogon, a pre-school teacher also in Barangay Pandan, said that due to lack of supply yet from the schools division, public school teachers have been relying on donations.

“I hope people with big hearts can provide us bond papers,” Ramogon said, adding that to date many of her colleagues are still in a quandary on how to perform modular classes without their physical presence and those of their pupils.

Barangay Pandan is an upland village in South Upi where pockets of the road turned into muddy ponds during heavy downpour.

This is one of the many communities across the province and in the Bangsamoro region trying to adjust to the new normal of teaching method despite the lack of resources.

Some teachers are afraid they might even shell out funds out of their own pockets to buy printing materials.

Also in modular teaching method, some of them expressed worries on how they can respond to queries of pupils since many of their parents are unable to read and write themselves.

It’s good if the pupils have elder siblings who are at least able to read and write to help them, Ramogon said.

“It is a dilemma that we are facing and we see no clear answers that are coming in,” a teacher who requested anonymity said, referring to pupils whose parents are illiterate.

Sheilla Mae Blasurca, an incoming Grade 10 student in Barangay Pandan, said many of her classmates have no access to the internet.

She said the use of the modules might be difficult for them, as they have to go to school every Monday to take the hard copies, bring them home and study.

“Who will answer our questions in the modules if our teacher is not in front of us?” Blasurca asked. (Ferdinandh Cabrera / MindaNews)

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