Parents of students in Barangay Zaragosa in Badian Island worry no more for the safety of their children after the Cebu Provincial Government turned over a two-classroom school building on Monday.
The inauguration of the P1.4-million edifice by Governor Hilario P. Davide III and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale in Zaragosa Integrated School had helped allay the fears of parents who were concerned that their children might be compelled to continue their high school studies in Badian mainland like those ahead of them.
“Kung nalipay ang mga bata, mas labaw pang nalipay kami na mga ginikanan kay dili na kinahanglan mo tabok sa dagat among anak para mo eskuwela,” said Maricel Caballeda.
Painted in yellow and blue, the school building can accommodate up to 88 students and will be used by the 7th and 8th graders.
Caballeda said parents were worried earlier that the lack of classrooms for the secondary level might force some students to enroll in schools in the mainland.
Crossing the sea is not only tiresome but also a safety concern for their children, she pointed out.
She said most students before would ride on a banca and would join in paddling the light boat to make it sail.
From the jump-off point to Badian Island in Barangay Manay-as, students would have to travel more than two kilometers by sea to reach their homes in Barangay Zaragosa.
Caballeda, 28, recounted the same hardships she went through during her high school days and said she quit her studies because of it.
Another parent, Evangeline Ferrolino shared the horrible experience of her son whose canoe he was riding on sank in the early evening while the light boat was on its way home.
“Maayo kay swimmer siya sa ilang eskuwelahan, naluwas ra. Maong lipay gyud kaayo ko na dunay nami napuno na building para sa high school,” said Ferrolino, whose daughter is set to enter Grade 7 in the next school year.
Seeing the parents’ resolve in providing education to their children, Davide promised to build another two-classroom edifice in Barangay Zaragosa before his second term ends.
Since June of this year, the Capitol has already turned over eight school buildings mostly located in mountain barangays or in lowland villages that are far from the town center.
Badian officials including Vice Mayor Fructuoso Caballero and councilors Edwin Celeste and Mark Andrew Jorolan also attended the event. They were joined by 7th district Provincial Board members Jerome Librando and Christopher Baricuatro. Second district PB member Jose Mari “Tata” Salvador was also present.
The inauguration of the school edifice was among the activities of the 1st Cebu Provincial Government Caravan of Services held in Badian town, southwest of Cebu. (Kelvin Cañizares)