United community results to 0% dropout rate

Commuting has become a daily routine for students and workers alike in order to arrive at their respective destinations. For the average commuter in an urban setting, travelling would mean riding a jeepney, bus, or train – and perhaps some walking – to reach a certain place. However, it’s a different story for those in the rural areas in which travelling to and from every day has become wearisome due to the long distances they go through. For teachers and students, school performance would be greatly affected because they are simply too tired to concentrate. In the case of Tan-awan National High School, this resulted in a 17% dropout rate among their students.

Jolly Gariando Jr., the school’s principal, took matters into his own hands for the welfare of the teachers and students. The solution: establish a boarding house within the school premises making both groups closer to school, thus enabling them to focus better.

“The idea came up when I realized that teachers and students cannot afford to travel into their school. Although means of transportation is available, the teachers still had trouble with the school’s distance since they are residing in the city,” Gariando said.

Funding the dormitory project was not a problem. In September 2010, with the help of the Tan-awan community, their representatives in the local government unit, the Sangguniang Kabataan and the town mayor, the project came to reality. As of school year 2012-2013, the school has achieved one of the project’s main goals: decreased dropout rate to 0%.

The three community-dormitories are welcome to teachers and students, since it is the former’s responsibility to take care of the latter during their entire stay at the place. In a way, this evokes a greater relationship between teacher and student even outside of the classroom.

Gariando pointed out that teachers who wish to stay in the dormitory, must be residing in the city as a requirement. Presently, there are four male and two female teachers and 16 students who currently reside in the dormitories.

This proves that a united community and its local government, giving their best efforts, can do so much for its people – in this case, for a local high school.

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