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ROUGH CUTS | One light moment with the late FVR

CONSIDERING the lack of classrooms in some public schools and the increasing number of students getting into the public educational system due to the government’s free basic education program, we have to acknowledge the need to adjust the hours for the holding of classes on a day-to-day basis. Some classes for various elementary or primary levels are held in the morning and others in the afternoon. This way the acute classroom lack can be remedied.

In the case of the scheduling of certain classes at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Matina where certain sections under the Science, Technology and Engineering (STE) discipline of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the plan needs some re-thinking by whoever was or were behind it.

We were told by parents of some STE students that they are apprehensive of the schedule because there are sections whose classes are proposed to start at 5:45 in the morning.  And while it is beneficial to the students since the classes that start that early will only be every Monday but at 5:45 a.m. it is too early for some of the STE students who are residing in places far from the school and even be risky for those who live in the interior portion of the barangay.

Yes, for the students to catch up with the transportation at designated terminals or along the road, they have to be up as early as 3:30 in the morning. They have to prepare for everything they need before leaving their houses. They have to eat a very early breakfast. Hence, their parents should be up much earlier in order to prepare the morning meal. Then the students will need to have their morning rituals fixed before rushing to get their ride.

And even if the students leave the house at 5 in the morning they cannot be certain if there are already available public transport by then. Most of all, by going out of their residence and walking to the terminal or idling themselves at the roadside waiting for public utility vehicles that early in the morning risks are not far behind considering that during that period darkness is still very much around and one cannot be certain if people with criminal intentions are already resting.

What if something untoward happens to the students during the period of waiting for transport? Who will assume responsibility? No, it is not just the perpetrators or those who are supposed to keep the barangays safe and sound and free of criminal elements.

The school and its officials, or even the Department of Education (DepEd) Division and regional levels should be looked into as possibly responsible for the perdition that the students would possibly suffer. Why, because the school officials are the ones who made the schedule and the Regional or division offices are the ones who approved of such scheduling of classes.

As we said earlier we understand fully the predicament of DepEd. But we believe that such an idea should undergo a re-thinking process because while it is intended as a solution to a long-prevailing problem of lack of classrooms in public schools, it is also putting the lives of students who will fall under that too early class schedule at high risk of being victimized by roving criminals.

Why not adjust the schedule to about 6:30 in the morning? That starting hour of classes for the concerned sections is already pretty safe for students.

We hope our friend DepEd supervisor and concurrent Principal of DRANHS will start the process of reviewing the proposed schedule before it’s too late.

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Like several others who claimed to have some close or simple acquaintance with the late President Fidel V. Ramos, we too had our short but memorable moments with him before his election, during his incumbency and after his retirement. We were taught by the late FVR how to be video-taped even with our eyeglasses on but sans the reflection of light from the eyewear.

It was during the 10th anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 2006 when FVR was in Davao City to commemorate the occasion. The program was held at the Davao Convention Center. We were one of those who had the luck to get invited. When FVR went up the stage to talk he started with some light banters. He called the late Zafiro Respicio to join him. When Zaf who was at the back did not heed the late President he called us instead since we were seated at the front. FVR asked us if as a reporter we also had the opportunity to be video-recorded or photographed. We answered yes. Immediately he gave us advice on how not to be looking hazy because of the reflection of the eyeglasses we wear.  FVR told us to bring along an extra eyewear minus the glass and with only the frame left. He showed us the one he was wearing and by poking his finger on the eye frame we knew then that it was without glasses. Then he took the unlighted cigar from his mouth and placed it in the glass frame and loo it went through without any hindrance.

That was FVR in his light moments. And we had it captured in still camera, the one treasure we cherish from the late President. Rest in Peace, Sir.

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