As the new school year progresses throughout the UK we thought you might like some more insight on the life of our children at their schools. During my visit to the Philippines last November I learnt a lot about the children's life at school, the subjects that they study and how their days are spent.
With the support of our donors, the programmes run by the Sisters of Mary throughout the Philippines are able to offer places to over 10,000 children and provide them with full time care, education and vocational skills. The places at school are transformative for these children previously living in such poverty and give them good skills which allows the Philippines schools to secure a nearly 100% employment rate for their graduates once they finish their studies.
Boys at School, Adlas, Cavite
From the ages of 12 up to 18, in four schools in Adlas and Biga (Cavite) and Talisay and Minglanilla (Cebu), the boys and girls in the Philippines study towards the TVET vocational qualifications as part of the Philippine TESDA National certificate. This certificate equips the children with multiple skills including academic subjects like Maths and Physics alongside strongly vocational, locally employable skills like computer hardware maintenance, electronics and mechanical engineering.
Like all young children at school, the boys and girls have a busy timetable, and they study every day (including Saturday, but excluding Sunday) from 8 am. They have a mid morning break and then finish for lunch at 12 noon. Lessons restart at 12.50 pm and they study until 4.35 pm. After class the children have different activities. On Monday they have social studies, on Tuesday the children do gardening or sports, on Wednesday singing and on Thursday they have a mass for our donors. Dinner is at 6pm and after this is reading and homework and bedtime is around 9.15 pm.
On sundays, after a morning mass, the children are able to relax and pursue their hobbies including sports, dancing and playing an instrument. A popular hobby in the boys school in Cebu is the study of Arnis, a Filipino dance and martial art, but across all the schools the children are encouraged to study cultural arts and develop their skills and interests in activities native to their local communities.
The children have a real thirst for knowledge and are keen participants in their classes. They are also very competitive and keen to test themselves against other schools. The school office is full of trophies which are the results of these competitions in Maths, Science, Chess, Business etc etc!
The children are thriving at school and they don't want to waste a single minute of the opportunity.
All this is made possible by the simple generosity of our donors. - Thank you!
Girls at School in Biga, November 2017