APC Kalasungay: A Story that Inspires

Chiqui Aljas

APC opened a new extension school in Sitio Kalasungay, Brgy. Balagnan, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur in January 2014. Upon the appeal of Datu Man‐isyo, the tribal chieftain of Sitio Kalasungay,
APC opened Kinder 1 up to Daweg A (Grade 1).

In the past years, the children in Kalasungay community, including the chieftain’s children, studied in APC, Bendum. Due to the long distance between Bendum and Kalasungay, which takes a day’s travel on foot in the Pantaron Range, the
students have to stay in dalupaan1in Bendum and only go home during school breaks.

Datu Man‐isyo asked the local government to put up a school in their community. For a long time, the local government had been unresponsive and the chieftain had to seek other options. The
chieftain directed this concern to Pedro Walpole.

As a response to the need for education of the indigenous children of Kalasungay and other neighboring community, Pedro, along with APC staff and teachers, visited the community and
agreed to put up an APC extension school. The APC provided the teachers for Kinder 1 up to Daweg A (Grade 2).

Kinder teacher, Ate Cecil, teaches spelling  in Pulangiyen

Kinder teacher, Ate Cecil, teaches spelling in Pulangiyen

The community contributed by constructing a school building and toilet facilities made from light materials. The school is catering to children of Pulangiyen, Higaonon, Adjawanen, Maasamnen, and other cultural groups. This not only redresses them the traveling to Bendum at an early age but both younger children and adolescence can also join classes at home. When the children finish Daweg A, they can opt to continue studying in Bendum or pursue other venues such as youth skills and formative training.

Every month, APC Bendum teachers visit the APC Kalasungay as part of regular school monitoring and correspondence. The school has greatly improved, as reported by the teachers who recently
visited, because the initiative and cooperation of the parents are greatly at work in the community.

They also continue to make the area more conducive to learning by beautifying and directing run‐off flows to avoid muddy grounds. Now, the school compound has become truly clean and
green.

Like any remote area in the highlands, many valuable things still needs to be done in Kalasungay. The great value the community puts in education and the dreams they have for their children out‐weighs most of the challenges they face. They will continue to work for the education of their children and APC will be with them every step of the way.

1. a place where people gather and stay for a short period of time

Photo caption: Kinder students learning to write in Pulangiyen

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