Saturday, July 26, 2008

Multi-Grade

One, two, three… eight… nine… fifteen… twenty! Counting all the rivers we crossed during our documentary of the Multi-grade in a remote place of Liniputan Elementary School, located in Pantukan, Montevista, Davao del Norte. We took a total of 3 hours away from Davao City. 2 hours from Davao to Pantukan Division office of DepEd (by Pajero), and we took another car (I don’t know what car it was for mountain travel) for another 1 hour just to cross 20 rivers to reach Liniputan area (supposedly it’s 27 but we took the shortcut hehehe!). And man, believe me, Mountains bordered surround it and while rivers trapped around the small school for multi-grade levels.

We took footages while on our way. Flordy took photos while I was taking videos.

Multi-grade involves the teaching of children from two or more grade levels in one classroom. Such context requires the employment of particular teaching methodologies and classroom administration.

Since Multi-grade classes are smaller and can be established more cheaply than complete schools, they can be more numerous. Therefore, more dispersed and thus located closer to the settlements where the children live. The assigned teacher would really have to live near them, for it will take you 27 rivers to get there. LOL! The school happens to be located where it is bordered by rivers and it’s even kilometres away from urban. This means both that younger children can attend and spend travelling by crossing rivers everyday just to get into school. But for them attending school is therefore likely to be more acceptable to the families concerned, as improvement to each one another escalates. And thus both increase the number of children receiving education and reduce the failure rate.

Multi-grade schools, being smaller and more dispersed, teacher would enjoy much closer links with the smaller communities that they would be setting up to serve.

This would have a very positive effect on local attitudes and access to education.

This kind of job is not easy to do without putting your heart into it. Imagine yourself being isolated in one place in a remote and far-flung area, feels like being exiled. Isn’t it? A dedicated and committed being immersed herself into great sacrifice. She gave up everything, life in the city, friends and relatives, but because of love and perseverance in teaching to where her heart belongs to. Her passion in teaching multi-grade for nine (9) years leads her into a promotion for Principal and will be assigned to be the coordinator of Multi-grade in their division. Well, she deserved it! Congratulations to Ma’am Annabelle Isaac.


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