School is a big deal here. It is highly valued by most, and as a country that has a functional literacy rate of 86%, it is apparent in the classrooms. Teachers are making do with limted supplies. Students are packed into rooms where there are often between forty and fifty students. Administators are under increased scurtiny. Classrooms are often hot and crowded, and yet students are in the classrooms learning. Like any school, anywhere, there are those who chose to disengage, but the majority of the students I have met, taught and observed approach education with a reverence and a focus that is inspiring. Their desire and willingness to learn is reflected by a culture of people who recognize the power of knowledge and the importance of education in order to be successful, contributing members of a community.
This Monday was one of the most rewarding days I have had in a long time. It is truly an honor to be here, to be welcomed, respected and included as part of the community. The lessons I have learned are many, and I can't wait to share them with my colleagues and students at Benson!
Oh, and in case you were wondering a few quick facts about my day:
yes I did get to meet the mayor of Iriga City, and I've practiced my selfies, they're still questionable!