VICE President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte-Carpio led the inauguration of two three-room buildings in the now Lipata Elementary School — a last-mile school — in Sitio Lipata, a remote town in Caramoan, Camarines Sur, on Saturday.
Duterte-Carpio said that the six new classrooms for schoolchildren symbolize the beginnings of dreams coming true.
The area where the two buildings were built was formerly used as Alternative Learning System (ALS) classrooms, but teacher-in-charge Windel Alvarez coordinated with the Department of Education (DepEd) to transform it into school buildings.
Alvarez is an awardee of the 2018 Dangal ng Bayan Awards conferred by former president Rodrigo Duterte and was a finalist for the 2020 Global Teacher Prize.
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Sixth grader Irene Priol expressed gratitude for the new facility where she and her fellow learners can hold their classes with their teachers.
"I am thankful for all the people who were behind making this school construction possible in our town. I believe that this will be the key for us to achieve our dreams in life," she said in Filipino.
Duterte-Carpio also distributed "pagbaBAGo" school kits, containing school supplies and dental kits, to learners of Lipata Elementary School as she reminded the community of the need for students to understand the importance of acquiring education as their weapon to put an end to the cycle of poverty.
"We remind children that they need to study hard. The schools are there, studying in public schools is free. Our parents should force their children to go to school," the vice president said.
Attending the 66th Foundation Day of DepEd Naga City Teachers and Employees Association on the same day, Duterte-Carpio highlighted the noble contribution of teachers in honing the minds of learners and continuing to perform their duties to the learners amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
"You are important to the country. You are the key in unlocking the minds of our students. May you never stop in shaping and caring for our youth. I hope you won't get tired of serving them, as you are the second light that they see in your daily teaching," she said.
Duterte-Carpio also praised the teachers for their dedication to continue serving the children amid the challenges and uncertainties brought about by the pandemic.
She vowed to keep her support for the education sector as it continues to employ innovative techniques to pave the way for recovery and normalcy.
"We will not let your initiatives go to waste. We will continue and further expand these projects and programs for the teachers, students, and staff of DepEd," the VP and Education chief added.