Dasol school gets help from police 

September 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

By Yolanda Sotelo

DASOL – For one day in September, policemen from  the Region I and Pangasinan  turned into barbers, teachers, lecturers and book donors  to schoolchildren.

The peculiar event happened  in a farflung village in this western Pangasinan town, where a school  sitting on top of a hill is where some 120 students learn writing, reading and arithmetic.

Members of the Ilocos Regional Police Safety Battalion (RPSB) travelled at dawn from their base in San Fernando City and reached the Tambac Elementary School at around eight in the morning, just as the students have entered their classrooms.

But it was not an ordinary day for the school, as the policemen and women, in their casual uniform of light blue shirts and dark blue shorts, have lined up different activities for the school kids.

Immediately, the policemen buckled down to work, tackling jobs that were far different for what they were trained for which is to combat with state enemies.

PO1 Dan Almoite brought out his ärmament” – scissors, razors, combs, a bottle of alcohol and of water, and a container of talcum powder.

Another “peacekeeping person” brought out similar tools- Roger Migano,the team leader of the CAFGU assigned in a station just behind the school.

The two guy’s mission: cut the young boys’ hair.

Just minutes soon, two  long line of young boys  were infront of Almoite and Migano,  patiently waiting for their turn to have their hair cut for free.

The students belong to mostly impoverished farming families, and the free hair cut would mean a savings of P50 for the pay of a barber, and the P20 fare for a tricycle ride to the village where a barber shop is located.

While more than  30 kids were availing  of  free hair cut from Mamang Barberong Pulis, Grades 1 and 2 pupils are learning new songs and dances, courtesy of PO1  Mary Ann Cagampan.

 The room reverberated with nursery rhymes as Cagampan leads the girls and boys in the singing and dancing.

In was a more serious stuff for Grades V and VI students in yet another room where  PO1 Orlando Tambot III  gave pieces of advice on how not to be a bully, and how not to be bullied.  He also gave a lecture on anti-illegal drugs.

One of the missions of the police was to bring books they collected from donors, for the school “library,” which is actually a corner of a classroom.

“We don’t have a library, so we just allotted a corner in a classroom as our library,” school principal Denia Garcia said.

The school looks as simple as it gets, though located in a picturesque area canopied by giant acasia trees. An ancient tamarind tree with exposed tangled roots,  sits in front,  meters away from the 30-step stairs carved out of the hill, and which serves as access to the school.

There are five or six buildings of two or three classrooms each,  the oldest of which is the “Marcos type” building which was already abandoned  because of its precarious. The buildings may look discordant as each was built as student number grew.

The school has only four teachers,  and a teacher from another school comes every afternoon to teach the kindergarten class,  Garcia said. Thus Grades 1 and 2 classes  and Grades V and VI were combined.  She explained that if the subject has one objective,  the classes are combined,  but activities are separate, with simpler activities giver to the lower grades, and more difficult ones given to the higher grades.

The school was selected by the RPSB as a beneficiary of its Adopt a Library project because it lacked books and the kids belong to poor families, Police Senior Inspector Darwin Guerrero, RPSB’s  community relations officer, said.

Also, there are “sightings” of insurgents in the area, and reaching out to the students could prevent them from joining the armed groups, he said.  The school is five-kilometer away from the national road and is accessible through a paved barangay road, crossing through forested hills and rice fields.

“We love it here, “ Regie Ancheta,  who teaches the  grade IV class, said.  While transferring to “bigger schools” is an option,  she and the other teachers would rather stay.

“The children here may be poor, but they are courteous and friendly. They would sometimes surprise us with fruits they gather from the wild,” Sherryll Parajas, Grade 5 and 6 teacher said.

Entry filed under: News.

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