Finally, after some attempts, I am very glad that I had a chance to write this work hopeful to inspire my fellow public school heads.
This simple narration of our experiences and philosophies is dedicated to San Eustacio Elementary School in Barangay San Eustacio, Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, the first school entrusted to me to manage and to identify and enhance every undiscovered potentials the school and its teachers, pupils, parents as well as the community have. I was born there as Teacher-in-Charge and grew as Public School Principal I until transferred to my present assignment in Bucot Elementary School in the same town.
Aren’t we normally discussing insufficient funds allocated for our respective school? Aren’t some of our fellow school heads talk on issues regarding school securities and property custodian? Had you sometimes doubt your resourcefulness and creativity especially in improving your office, decorating the façade and landscaping the school ground?
These are only some common issues and concerns of many school heads. Perhaps these are common to many but always require various solutions and approaches to be properly addressed.
I know the fact that many had been successful in handling the above mentioned issues and concerns. Many had been experiencing these again and again. Some simply ignore the issues but most if not all of course try to address and come up with a good and effective solutions.
Strengthening community-school relation actually for me is the best solution to all issues mentioned, indeed this may be valuable also even to other challenges encountered by many school heads. This strategy had been very effective and fruitful in my leadership in San Eustacio Elementary School.
The good community-school relation we developed in my first assignment was not intentional. Actually, I reached the people in the community with no other intention but to familiarize myself in the locality and at least to be acquainted with the members of the community and its barangay officials.
The very warm reception showed by the community in our school undertakings, their apparent appreciation to the transparency of my administration and the fatherly leadership I employed which was fully absorbed and understood are some of the key factors that lead towards the development of very strong relationship of the school and community.
When everyone in the school observe the strong relationship and linkage we developed with the community, we realized that our good rapport and association may be utilized in persuading them to embrace and work for the San Eustacio E/S’s vision and mission and to our direction leading to a more trusted, progressive and peaceful public school capable of providing quality education.
Going back to issues I mentioned earlier, would you believe that these have been properly addressed and resolved in our school without spending additional government fund?
When the people in the community recognize and appreciate our commitment to achieve our school goals, supports are coming willingly from various stakeholders. The Bayanihan Culturet rose every time we need manpower and labor. In spite of their busy schedules, people and barangay officials are rendering voluntary services only to accomplish our projects.
Very few incidents of theft and stealing of school properties took place since the community and parents developed their sense of responsibility in improving and protecting the school. Teachers and pupils also became aware that they need to use carefully every school facilities and equipments. All available resources have been utilized on its maximum level and well taken cared off. Thus, minimize our government fund expenditure for repair and maintenance.
In 2004, Yelena Mitrofanova published in NEBLINE Newsletter that “many of today's leaders in education, business and community development are coming to realize schools alone cannot prepare our youth for productive adulthood. It is evident schools and communities should work closely with each other to meet their mutual goals”.
In ending, I would like to invite my fellow public school heads to similarly open their heart and mind to strengthen community-school relation and to embrace the people in the community, the parents, the barangay officials and to consider them as one of the significant and unlimited source of resources for the improvements of our respective schools.
We are now in the modern age where school and community shall work hand-in-hand in the same footing at a parallel level for the sake and welfare of our young generation. The school heads may initiate this kind of relationship with humbleness at the highest level of professionalism and morality to avoid from any form of unwanted criticism.