2 schools in Siquijor get 15 new PAGCOR classrooms in time for opening of classes

Friday | May 19, 2017 | 9:00 AM

2 schools in Siquijor get 15 new PAGCOR classrooms in time for opening of classes
Prior to PAGCOR’s donation of a two-storey, ten-classroom building to San Antonio National High School, the school was already nurturing young minds in four PAGCOR-funded classrooms which were built way back in the 1980’s.

Siquijor, Siquijor– From the moment she set foot on San Antonio National High School (SANHS) three years ago, incoming Grade 10 student Erika Anne Almasen knew that their school lacked many things.

Situated in a secluded and hilly area in Siquijor, SANHS was making do with ten run-down classrooms for over two decades despite having over 200 students. Erika clearly remembered how their mini library used to be filled with mud and dirt because it also served as the lecture room for Horticulture class. On rainy days, leaking roofs and muddy floors were a common sight.

But Erika – a consistent honor student from a poor family – believes that good education is her only ticket out of poverty. If fate would favor her, she wants to become an accountant-lawyer someday.

2 schools in Siquijor get 15 new PAGCOR classrooms in time for opening of classes
Asst. VP for Community Relations Arnell Ignacio (2nd from left) leads the unveiling of the PAGCOR logo at the San Antonio National High School in Siquijor.

2 schools in Siquijor get 15 new PAGCOR classrooms in time for opening of classes
Incoming Grade 10 student Erika Anne Almasen can now enjoy their school’s mini library housed at the new building donated by PAGCOR. Prior to this, their mini library doubled as a lecture room of Horticulture students.

Fortunately, just a few weeks before the opening of classes this June, Erika and the whole SANHS community received the best gift ever. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) turned over to them a modern two-storey, ten-classroom building. The new facility -- which is equipped with spacious comfort rooms, storage areas, a ramp for persons with disabilities and a stage for school events -- will house incoming Senior High School students.

It was the second time that the school became a recipient of PAGCOR's generosity, said SANHS Principal Luz Omoc-oc.

“Before PAGCOR donated this modern two-storey building, we already had four PAGCOR-funded classrooms built way back in the 1980's. But all of our classrooms now are very old. When the Department of Education (DepEd) implemented the K-12 Program, the learning conditions of the students here worsened because we do not have enough classrooms for laboratories and other subjects,” she said.

SANHS Teacher Vannessa Ernst who will be occupying one of the rooms was overjoyed when she learned that they would be receiving a state-of-the-art two-storey building from PAGCOR. "People in this small community barely know what PAGCOR is despite the fact that four of our old classrooms were funded by your agency. But here you are, helping our school provide better learning and become more child-friendly. Despite the fact that we are very far from Manila, you saw the need to provide better education to our youth," she said.

Aside from SANHS, PAGCOR likewise donated a one-storey, five-classroom building to Candaping Elementary School (CES) in Maria, Siquijor.

Similar to SANHS, most of the classrooms in CES were old structures built way back in the 1970's. "For the longest time, nobody remembered our school. Nobody thought of constructing a single classroom here...and then PAGCOR came to our rescue. We just couldn't contain our joy and appreciation for your generosity," said CES School Principal Harriet Dimalig.

2 schools in Siquijor get 15 new PAGCOR classrooms in time for opening of classes
The one-storey, five-classroom building in Candaping Elementary School, Siquijor is nestled in a lush environment.

The turn-over rites were spearheaded by Asst. VP for Community Relations Arnell Ignacio. "I salute all of you -- the students, teachers and all my colleagues here in government service for choosing to fulfill your mission in this charming place. Wala pong pinipiling lugar at paaralan ang PAGCOR kaya kahit mahirap puntahan ang inyong lugar, andito kami ngayon para sa inyo," he said.

Meanwhile, Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa said that PAGCOR's school building project proves that the government puts a premium on the education of the youth. "We are very glad that PAGCOR is helping shape the future of our students here. Siquijor is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. To help promote the tourism potential of this island, we need to educate and empower the young so that they can be globally competitive," Gov. Villa said.

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