“Kamo na po ang bahala kaan na aki mi, dae mi na po an kaya!” that was a statement from a parent who obviously opted not to find ways anymore in getting their child back to school. The conversation that happened a few years ago was still heartbreaking.
A parent cannot give up on her child no matter how academically slow or apathetic the latter is. At the back of our mind then, “what future would the child have should we opt to give up on him, too?” In the little ways we could, we tried motivating the learner… encouraged him to go to school and did what we could to make him love the idea that staying in school is cool and it’s really a prerequisite towards achieving his dreams [if he already had one for himself or for his family].
Before the second quarter ends, the parent informed us in a casual conversation that their child has decided to quit schooling. And that she and her husband have yielded to their son’s desire to leave for Manila and get whatever work he could find there. They’d even justified their decision that it was the best option their child had so he can finally avoid his ‘barkadas’ whom they accused of serving as ‘bad influence’ to their child. It was a crazy idea, I complain to myself.
Maybe our ‘little ways’ were too little… Obviously, we failed.
Another parent came to us [upon our guidance counselor’s request], complained of an almost similar plight… of how much their child was giving them so much headache [and perhaps, heart attacks of varying degree] and how sorry their family was for their child’s misbehavior.
But the twist in the story happened when the parent reaffirmed their commitment of not leaving their child. I sensed an air of doubt and hopelessness when she began saying, “dae na gayod kami ki magibo kaan na aki…” but was turned almost teary-eyed when I heard her adding, “…kaya lang pano na sana an pag-abot kan panahon, kun dae mi paghinguhaang mag-agom na makatapos maski hayskul na sana.” The student’s father is a carpenter and his mother is a plain housekeeper.
I was reminded of the latter’s conversation yesterday during our school’s graduation rites. While reading the roll of graduates, I was among the spectators who cheered for him as he happily waited for his mother and hold her hand as they walk towards the stage to receive his diploma.
It’s a dream come true for his parents. It’s also a dream come true for us teachers and for the Institution who have been entrusted of the most challenging task of taking good care of their dreams and inspirations.
There is still so much task ahead for both of us – the school and the home, but we’re glad we’re doing our collective share one learner at a time, one dream at a time. Maybe that was enough…