Thursday, March 2, 2017

Construction of central school library in Rapu-Rapu pushed
By Mike Dela Rama

RAPU-RAPU, Albay, March 1, (PNA) —- Parents, teachers and village officials in Barangay Poblacion in the island town of Rapu-Rapu, Albay are asking help for the construction of a library inside the campus of the central school in the village to enhance the school life of the children of the townsfolk, majority of whom are fishermen.

The General Parent-Teachers Association (GPTA) of Rapu-rapu Central School and Sangguniang Barangay in Poblacion have recently adopted a joint resolution addressed to Albay second district Rep. Jose Salceda so funds could be appropriated for the establishment of a library within the central school.

GPTA president Abner Cilot said the library will help the pupils' knowledge to be at par with that of the children living in Albay’s urban centers.

Barangay Poblacion is one of the 34 villages in the island town of Rapu-Rapu, which is situated northeast of Legazpi City, Albay’s capital, and once known as site of the mining operations of the defunct Lafayette Philippines Inc.

Nearly 75 percent of the population in Barangay Poblacion are fisherman while the rest are farmers, professionals, traders and businessmen.

Erick de la Cruz, village chief of Poblacion, believes the library will have a positive influence in the life of the rural schoolchildren.

“Our village is located in an island town facing the Pacific Ocean. You need to travel four hours via a motorized banca to reach the mainland of Albay, particularly in Legazpi City,” he said.

Dela Cruz said the mountainous villages are inaccessible to children seeking to study in the central school which has experienced a decrease in enrollment over the past two years.

Cilot said Rapu-Rapu Central School records showed a 1.6 percent decrease in the school's total enrollment in schoolyear 2014-2015 and a 1.8 percent decrease for schoolyear 2015-2016.

He said there were more male students enrolling compared to female students, owing perhaps to “parents needing the girls to be home most of the time for babysitting and household chores.”

Cilot said that while the library will entice more children into going to school, it will help those already in school to update their knowledge in information technology and in other subject areas.

He said should it be realized, the library can also serve as a focal point for members of the community just like the village hall, pub and shops.

“It’s a safe, trusted place for meeting friends, a place for learning, information and leisure and sometimes just a place to keep warm,” said Cilot.

He said libraries are social places where people can chat, read and keep in touch with the outside world.

“Sometimes a friendly smile from a library worker can make all the difference to an isolated and vulnerable person any day of the week,” added Cilot. (PNA) LAP/GVR/MDR/CBD