It was a wonderful surprise to hear high school students from Bongao, Tawi Tawi speak English with fluency. One-year of enhancement classes in Literature and grammar has boosted their confidence and skill in English communication. They can express their thoughts easily in English and are highly participatory in discussions.
Dr. Guevara and Mr. Oscar Atendido conducted an assessment of their competencies in English and noted a 20 percent increase in their test scores. While their ability to communicate orally has increased significantly, the students needed more exercises to expand their vocabulary and deepen their comprehension. The “access scholarship” that is sponsored by the US Embassy will use stories, poems and drama in order to sharpen their critical thinking skills.
Mr. Atendido worked with the students to develop their personality. The students were visibly enthused by tips on maintaining good posture, sitting and walking properly, including where to place their hands while conversing with others.
Mr. Rommel Carpio joined the team in orienting teachers with science process skills. He emphasized that teaching science is not about memorizing facts but developing the skills of observation, comparing and contrasting, hypothesizing, experimenting and making generalizations.
The Synergeia team noted the significant improvements that have been introduced by the new Mayor, Jasper Que. A new municipal building has been constructed. The old municipal building now serves as a venue for workshops and training programs. The Mayor has also selected pilot schools where programs to improve teaching, learning, and community support of schools have been introduced. The Mayor proudly said, “These are no longer Synergeia’s programs but they are initiatives of the Local School Board. “ The ultimate test of sustainability is when the municipality is able to introduce programs of its own. The Mayor and Bongao’s LSB passed the test with flying colors.