Children of all walks of life must have equal opportunity to education – this has been the battle cry of Educo Philippines for the past 11 years. We have been partnering with schools and communities in mostly far flung areas to make sure this happens in our time.
One of the pressing challenges that children face in their education is the accessibility of schools, especially in hard-to-reach communities in the Philippines. Many students have to walk for several hours everyday just to attend classes.
Similarly, that is the case of Dave Amber B. Gubot Jr., a Grade V student of Guiron Elementary School. He is the second child among the three siblings of Mr. and Ms. Reynante Gubot. Reynante works as a farmer as well as a construction worker while her mother takes care of the children at home. The family resides at Purok 4 of Barangay Guiron, Pilar, Sorsogon, which is situated far from the “centro” of the barangay, where the school is located.
In the last five years, Dave used to walk about an hour from their house to the school. According to his father, his children would wake up earlier than other kids in order not to miss school as well as arrive home in the afternoon later than the rest. Means of transportation is seldom in the area.
Because of this situation, sometimes the children would arrive late in school, feeling exhausted as well.
EDUCO Philippines believes that helping Dave and the rest of these children in their current situation is key towards making sure that children will have better access to education.
Hence, in June 28, 2016, EDUCO Philippines provided a set of bicycle to Dave and the rest of 10 other pupils who were identified to be in the same situation as the boy. Indeed, having a bicycle to ride on is a dream come true for Dave. He can now go to school earlier and arrive home earlier than before without exhausting himself.
All the children were very much delighted to have received their bikes. They said they can now have more time to enjoy other things like playing and simply being with their families back at home.
After two months, Educo visited Dave and his family in their barangay to know how his life might have changed after he received the bicycle.
“I’m doing better because I no longer arrive late in school. I’m happy because I can do other things in school. Now, I have more time playing with my classmates and sometimes I do other school activities like tutoring my peers during reading activity, which is scheduled before the start of classes in the afternoon,” he said.
Dave’s father also noticed some positive changes after Dave was given a bicycle. According to Mr. Gubot, Dave became more active and always shows enthusiasm to attend his classes.
Truly, children can value their education when they are showered with support. The bikes that Educo provided not only make it possible for these children to go to school with less or no hassle, but also proved that education can be made accessible for all children if we try.
# Story by: Andrew Joel Ricacho, Project Officer