Backroom stories before Opening Day

There are no big or small roles in as far as ensuring that the students’ return to classes becomes as smoothly as possible.

Today marks the opening day of classes in many public schools throughout the country. In preparation for the opening of Academic Year 2018-2019, many public schools conducted their annual ‘Brigada Eskwela’ last week to ensure that all school infrastructure and facilities are in good condition. A month prior to the resumption of classes, parents flocked leading malls, bookstores, and even Divisoria to shop for their respective children's school supplies and accessories. Preparations for opening of classes are often rigorous, exhausting, and financially draining. Behind these preparations are people who pour on the effort, sacrifices, and hardwork to make a student’s life productive, harmonious, and worthwhile.

Unknown to us, parents make enormous sacrifices and meet ends so that they could substantially pay their children’s matriculation fees at the beginning of each school year. These include passing up on buying luxuries, tightening the belt on personal necessities, and even passing up on meals. I've heard many stories of parent employees taking canned goods for lunch instead of buying from expensive canteens/restaurants. I've seen parents burn lines and visit unchartered territories to seek financial assistance from individuals or institutions, most of the time even agreeing to unfavorable terms. I've witnessed mothers literally sell or mortgage important material possessions such as their wedding rings or priced jewelries in exchange for a small sum of money to be used as down payment for their children’s tuition fees.

Teachers, too, work and study hard during summer breaks to expand their skills and knowledge base. In fact, some teachers take advanced/refresher courses at their own expense so that they could provide their students with only the most updated information on their respective fields of study. Teachers intensely prepare their course outlines and lesson plans during summer while most of their students are busy sleeping or enjoying time with their hobbies. Teachers engage in numerous and lengthy meetings with their peers to prepare quality curricula that are relevant to our present times.

School support personnel, which includes security officers and maintenance and utilities staff, are often unnoticed in their work of ensuring the smooth and uninterrupted flow of school operations. For instance, security guards battle sleepiness just to protect the school property from possible intruders. Throughout the year, janitors clean rooms, toilets and other major facilities within the school’s periphery to ensure these are well-maintained.

Various individuals and groups worked diligently to provide a conducive environment for students once classes resume. There are no big or small roles in as far as ensuring that the students’ return to classes becomes as smoothly as possible. 

Each of the above groups of people played and will continuously play critical parts in the duration of a student’s life. Hence, in a small little way, my humble request is for students to thank their parents, teachers, and school support personnel. Without them, what would our educational system be? Furthermore, what would become of us without them?

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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