Judy Ann and the perennial flood
By Marge Francia
UNICEF supports alternative delivery modes of education to help students keep up with their lessons when they have to miss school.
Judy Ann Esperida, a 12 year-old student of Nenita Elementary School, knows this all too well. The diminutive Grade 6 student and Math Club president has to walk six kilometers to get to school, passing through six brooks that at times are impassable.
“I live in Sitio Santiago where there are no bridges leading to the town. The path that we take to school floods easily, that is why I live at my aunt’s house during the week and go home every Friday to my parents in the Sitio,” she explains.
The perennial flooding problem has caused her to miss many lessons in school, a cause for worry for many Nenita Elementary School teachers whose students befall the same fate.
“Judy Ann can’t come to school sometimes because she lives very far away. If it rains hard, she has to wait for the water to subside before she can go to school,” her adviser Lorilie Balberan said.
A great alternative
Thankfully, an alternative delivery module called MISOSA or Modified In-School/Off-School Approach is helping Judy Ann and many of Nenita Elementary School students catch up with lessons they missed. This module that is intended for classrooms that are overcrowded has been an immense help to students who live very far or need to help out their parents during planting and harvesting seasons. MISOSA reached Northern Samar through UNICEF Philippines’ Education Programme. The programme seeks to find out why students drop out and looks for ways to help them stay in school.
“MISOSA helps falterers catch up with the lessons that they miss. When they tell us they will be absent the next day, they are sent home with a module for the next day’s lesson. Around 80 to 90 percent of the students have already benefited from this. The students tell us that the modules are very effective,” Balberan said.
MISOSA is helpful for those who need to help in the farm, or get sick. Some miss school for an entire week because they need to harvest rice. When it’s time to go back, they are not motivated because they couldn’t catch up. The teachers used to give them remedial classes after school, or give them books to take home, but these books are scarce. With MISOSA modules, they are able to study on their own and never have to worry about not being able to participate in the next day’s discussions.
“When there are lessons I miss, I just bring the modules home and my older sister who is in 3rd year high school teaches me. It’s a great help to me,” she says.
Nenita is now receiving a new batch of MISOSA modules to replace those washed out in the last big typhoon. Her town may be in a constant state of flooding but for Judy Ann, nothing comes in the way of wanting to learn.
HELPING CHILDREN IS JUST A CLICK AWAY.
YES, I want to make a difference. I hope my donation will help more children.
Children First Newsletter (Q4 2009 Issue)
(PDF documents require Acrobat Reader to view.)