Nanay Teresa’s hope for her kids
This coming June, there will be around 1.9 million children to enter kindergarten. One of them is four-year-old Tanya Montilla. The youngest of five children, Tanya Montilla is set to enter kindergarten this coming June.
Life isn’t easy for the Montilla family. For almost 11 years, the Montilla children along with Tatay Eldy and Nanay Teresa have lived in a cemetery in Cavite. They make their beds above tombs and their personal belongings are stored in vacant, empty tombs. These tombs also double as study rooms for when the children get home from school.
To earn money, Tatay Eldy goes around selling junk and Nanay Teresa makes a measly two pesos for every bucket she fills up from a well.
Even though life isn’t easy for them, Nanay Teresa says that she’s prepared to do everything that she can so that her five children finish their schooling. According to her, Nanay Teresa doesn’t want her children to end up like her, not being able to read or write, not even her own name.
“Gusto ko makatapos sila, para makakuha sila ng trabaho para pag mamatay kami, hindi sila kawawa. (I want them to be able to finish school and get jobs so that when we pass away, they’ll be fine.)”
Wakas Elementary School
Wakas Elementary School in Kawit, Cavite is where Tanya wants to study. Unfortunately, the school hasn’t had a kindergarten classroom for almost eight years.
According to school Principal Imelda Encabo, the students that they have in Wakas are just like Tanya and her family. A lot of them are not well off and a lot of them come to school without anything while the others absent themselves because they don’t have any food or money to bring for school.
For Principal Encabo, she believes that kinder is an important step to complete early education. She says that children who pass through kinder learn to be more focused and more in touch with themselves.
The start of bigger and better things
Along with the Department of Education’s K plus 12 program where all public schools must have a kindergarten, Failon Ngayon decided to help out by organizing the Brigada Eskwela, Tulong Kapamilya project along with DZMM Teleradyo. For a week, Failon Ngayon and Tambalang Failon at Webb called out to generous viewers and listeners to donate used educational materials like toys, books, and school supplies. The reaction was overwhelming as donations filled up Failon Ngayon’s offices.
It was more than fitting that first school to be given a new Kindergarten was the Wakas Elementary School in Kawit.
Along with the help and the designs of the United Architects of the Philippines, Cavite Chapter under President Richie Corcuera, Failon Ngayon, DZMM, and the Department of Education put up a brand new and fully furnished kindergarten classroom in Wakas Elementary.
The United Architects of the Philippines, Cavite Chapter, volunteers, the teachers of Wakas Elementary, and whole staff of Failon Ngayon and DZMM, including Ted Failon himself and Ms. Pinky Webb all helped out in cleaning, painting, and renovating the new kinder classroom. The end product was a beautiful kinder classroom for children like Tanya.
To help the kids get a feel of what it’s like to go to kinder, Mr. Failon and Ms. Webb held a little story telling session for the incoming kinder students. Of course, everyone was excited.
From an old, beat down bodega to a beautiful new classroom, and all thanks to everyone who gave their generous support.
Kinder is an important step towards education because it molds young minds into tools for progress, success, and personal development. With the Brigada Eskwela, Tulong Kapamilya project, more and more children will be able to take their first steps towards brighter and better futures through kindergarten.
“Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan, lalo na kung may pinag-aralan.” (Children are the hope of the country, especially when they’re educated) - Ted Failon