Kiblawan, Davao del Sur (DSWD XI) – For high school students of Barangay Manual here, nothing could inspire more than sitting in a brand new concrete classroom this coming school year, a far cry from the amakan structure they’ve been used to.

Thanks to Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (Kalahi-CIDSS), one of the core programs of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which has formally turned over a newly built One Unit High School Building with Three Classrooms worth Php 2,750,635.00 in Barangay Manual.

A ceremony attended by parents, students, and school officials was held to formalize the turnover of the new school building to the school administration.

The ceremonial cutting of ribbon was led by Hon. Mayor Carl Jason Rama, DSWD Undersecretary Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, and Kalahi-CIDSS Regional Program Coordinator Ma. Elena S. Labrador.

“We’ve been using our previous classrooms since 2013. The structure does not have solid walls as it is made of amakan or bamboo matting. The teachers have to somehow speak way beyond the normal to the point of almost shouting just for students to hear them. And with several classes going at that rate at the same time, just imagine how hard it is for everyone,” said Rosalita A. Estropia, principal.

The new school one unit building with three classrooms comes with brand new armchairs and blackboards. It has concrete walls and painted inside out.

“The additional rooms will improve on former classroom conditions,” noted Estropia, who further stressed that the rooms will no longer be overcrowded, making it more conducive to learning.

“These new classrooms are slated to be used by 219 students from the high school level,” shared Robert Kenly A. Sta. Maria, Kalahi-CIDSS Area Coordinator in Kiblawan.

Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa, Undersecretary of DSWD, expressed her heartfelt acknowledgment to teachers, parents, Local Government Unit (LGU), and community volunteers for their unwavering endeavor in prioritizing education for the students.

“I am thankful because the community chose to prioritize a social production project such as a school building. Students have a significant role in the community. The classroom is our mirror in seeing a student’s potential. The classrooms are the factories where a student’s ideals and ideas are formed, after all.”

Templa’s remarks and statements emphasized DSWD’s commitment of Maagap at Mapagkalingang Serbisyo to communities, further reinforcing that providing better facilities to students towards quality education  is one of the best ways to achieve this.

She also underlined the agency’s advocacy of continued support to education.

Importante sa DSWD ang kalambuan sa katawhan, ug magsugod kini sa mga kabatan-onan. Maayo gyud nga giduso sa komunidad nga mao kini ang ilang priority (DSWD recognizes the importance of development of people which begins with the youth. It is good that the community pushed this).

To date, Kiblawan has nine completed sub-projects and three on-going construction, covering the first cycle of implementation with a total grant allocation of Php P17,847,200.00.

Kalahi-CIDSS is a community-driven development (CDD) program of the Philippine Government aiming to empower people through sustainable development, enhanced participation in local governance, and management of poverty alleviation projects. (DSWD)