Seriously now, I have been to a bit of an adventure. Well, it's more like a journey that is both internal and external. My visit to four schools in Tanauan, Batangas a few days back has affected me greatly on many levels. I'm still reeling from what I saw and witnessed there. Nothing earthshaking as compared to the quake and tsunami in Japan. But the experience was enough to break my heart over and over again.
|Sugar cane field being prepared for planting season.|
Among the four schools I visited, only two schools have identified a room that functions as a library. These reading rooms have textbooks, very old textbooks that date back to the 70's. All of the four schools have kindergarten classrooms where local picture books and storybooks are housed. The books stay there until it is worn out or yellow all over. The grade school classrooms do not have classroom libraries but shelves lined up with textbooks. In my conversation with teachers and head of schools, even the delivery of textbooks is a problem. For example, a district has ten schools and one thousand textbooks arrive. These instructional materials will be divided equally to the ten schools. On the average, each school has a population of two hundred. How many textbooks will each school have? Do the math for me please.
|This book about Marcos is inside the reading room in one of the elementary schools I visited.|
I did not dare ask obvious questions. I already know the answers. And I did not ask for the librarian. I know where the licensed librarians are.
I thought we had it tough and rough in the National Capitol Region when it comes to public school library development. I was wrong. It's worse in the rural area.
|Library stack room. Indeed.|
I just could not give up on them.