A day after the opening of elementary school, June 7, Mayor Danny Toreja visited Ibaan Central School, the biggest school in town, and made a personal courtesy appearance to the office of Principal Marita Patena to discuss the problems that are currently being faced by the said school and how his administration can provide assistance.
In an informal conversation, together Mrs. Semira, Principal Patena told Mayor Toreja that the school has 1,600 enrolled students for the school year 2011 – 2012 which is 200 higher compared to the previous school year. Although it can be considered as a positive sign, the surge on the number of students is still coupled with a problem.
Ironically, while other elementary schools lack school building to house their students, ICS falls short of two more teachers to handle the class. In an average, each grade level has 4 sections with 25 to 30 students
Principal Patena also added that Talaibon Elementary School and Tulay Elementary School are also both in need of one teacher due to the increasing trend of number of students.
Hearing the school’s situation, Mayor Danny Toreja immediately offered himself to personally coordinate with District Supervisor to identify available teachers who can fill-in the shortage.
Moreover, the Mayor also said he’ll coordinate with different barangays for there might be some new education graduates who has the capability to handle the class even at least on a temporary basis.
Mayor Toreja also recommended that ICS should make an inventory on their teachers before the end of each school year and have them matched with the projected increase on the number of students the following school year.
Visiting The Old Ones
After their conversation, both Principal Patena and Mayor Toreja agreed to make an ocular inspection of the school premises.
On their way, Mayor Toreja went on to take a peek on some class rooms to have a short chat with the students. The latter then showed their enthusiasm and excitement with others seeing the Mayor for the first time.
Mayor Toreja also visited ICS’s trademark and long standing school building popularly called as “Gabaldon”. Being a graduate of ICS himself, Mayor Toreja felt bad seeing the said school already forsaken due to risks it holds to students.
For number of years, Gabaldon is no longer used. The building could have been demolished long ago. But a directive from Department of Education telling school officials to preserve such form and design of old school building.
After inspecting the interior of Gabaldon, joined by other teachers, they also inspected the “Tahanang Pangkabuhayan” building located at the right wing side of the school facing the highway. Just like the Baldeo, the building is no longer safe to be used. Its floor has gone down and evident crack lines on its stone walls.
Seeing the plight of the two school buildings, Mayor Toreja assured the ICS teachers to allocate funds and to coordinate with different provincial and national government agencies and personalities to immediately, as much as possible, rehabilitate and restore two school buildings to their old glory.