The government of Bongao believed that strengthening the Local School Board is crucial in addressing education issues as well as in achieving their vision to have a quality elementary education in Bongao.
“I really want to improve Education sa Bongao because I don’t want parents sending their children to other places anymore just to get quality education. I want them to get quality education in a place they consider their home. Quality education is a great investment for the future of our children and at the same time in improving the community at large”, said the current Local Chief Executive, Mayor Jimuel Que.
With a stronger LSB, numerous campaigns and initiatives that involved the whole community of Bongao, and not just those in the academe, were pursued. These initiatives were introduced by the Bongao Local School Board under the administration of the late Hon. Mayor Albert T. Que, which were continued by former Mayor Jasper S. Que and now, by Mayor Jimuel Que.
To achieve their vision of having a quality elementary education in Bongao, the current Local School Board started with identifying the needs of the community and schools alike by asking the following questions: What do the parents of the learners want from the schools that their children are attending? What do they expect from their children’s teachers? What are the current programs that need enhancement aside from tutorial classes and reading classes? Is the LSB doing enough? (Aming, 2021)
They asked the stakeholders such as District Supervisors, School Principals, Teachers, Parents, Community Organizations, partner agencies, Barangay Officials, and even the learners. They tried to reach communities in far-flung barangays of Bongao even if accessibility was difficult. They were guided by the formula followed by the entire Bongao government: enhanced partnerships with inclusivity. (Aming, 2021) People in Bongao were informed of programs and exciting initiatives that could turn their children’s life around. This resulted in the change in values and acceptance of people of progress in the community.
Bongao LSB became education-centered. It sought partnerships such as with the Synergeia Foundation and the USAID Education Governance Effectiveness (EdGE) Program to avail of training programs to continuously improve the quality of basic education in the municipality.
To sustain its mission, Bongao LSB conducts monthly meetings to discuss project results and give immediate resolutions to pressing concerns. Monthly meetings became an avenue for regular updates on various education development projects and programs conducted. Such projects and programs were centered on teachers’ trainings to enhance teachers’ capacity in effectively teaching the pupils; feeding programs for malnourished schoolchildren; PTA meetings for the establishment of community-parent-teacher relationships and the construction of school buildings to cater to more learners and for a more conducive learning environment.
Specifically, the Bonggao LSB initiated and supported the following programs to improve the education of their children:
- Tutorial classes and reading classes were conducted for slow and non-readers which made an enormous progress on the part of the learners as based on data collected in 2012. (Aming, 2021)
- The Establishment of “Kusina ng Kalinga” Central Kitchen in partnership with Gawad Kalinga, DepEd-ARMM (now MBHTE-BARMM) was also formally launched and opened last February 27, 2017.
- On capacity-building, the School Governing Council (SGC) conducted a Workshop from the 22nd to 23rd of November 2017.
- To ensure proper documentation, monitoring and evaluation and most importantly, the sustainability of education programs, Four (4) Multi-Cab Vehicles were respectively distributed to the Four (4) Districts of Bongao: Bongao I District, Bongao II District, Bongao III District, and Bongao Central District, on January 26, 2018 in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
- The Bongao Local School Board also had its 2021 Summer Reading Program from August 2, 2021 to September 3, 2021 for Grades 1 to 3 learners from the four (4) Bongao Districts.
- A One (1) Unit, Two (2) Classrooms School Buiding with Comfort Room will also be constructed at Mandulan Elementary School, in Barangay Mandulan, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi in partnership with Synergeia Foundation.
- Photocopier Machines were turned over to Four (4) Bongao District Offices in September 29, 2020 and also to Five (5) Secondary Schools in Bongao just last October 16, 2020
Bongao LSB’s hardwork paid off when they received the award of the Seal of Good Education Governance awarded by Synergeia Foundation for 3 consecutive years from year 2017-2019. Indeed, Bongao’s Local School Board improved schoolchildren’s lives and generally the people’s lives as it made a huge difference on the people of Bongao.