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Thursday, June 17, 2010

A teacher named Avelino

I was assigned to handle fourth year class. It had to be the initial class. The school was on its fourth year of operation . I need to have no less than 30 students or the class will be dissolved. The PTA had exerted much effort to open a high school in my barangay. I visited respective homes of my students and encouraged them to enroll in the Fourth Year . Many enrolled except one whose name is Avelino ". The first visit, he told me he would stop going to school. I felt the frustration at his refusal to enroll. He had varied reasons : helping his parents in their livelihood, he was the oldest among the students ( he was 25 at that time). In my second visit, I sought his parent's help. Still, his reasons were the same and added another. Th enrollment had to be closed two days later, It was in my fifth visit that I told him to enroll and drop after the head count of students by the supervisor. He looked at me straight in the eye and said." Count me in , I will enroll but I will stop after the headcount."

He was voted vice-president of the class. I started to enhance his potential as a speaker, The headcount came after a month. Two weeks passed and still observing him, expecting him to drop. No words came from him regarding his plan. He continued and became a member of the first batch of graduates. They were 24 graduates. Six of them did not make it. Two had transferred to another school in another province, the other four dropped due to distance from school, hiking 7 kilometers to reach school , financial problems, etc.

Avelino graduated as Salutatorian and awarded "Orator of the year" He also received award for excellence in Filipino subject.

He went to college and obtained a degree in Secondary Education. After years of teaching in another public school, he transferred and became my co-teacher. He would tell our co- teachers how happy he was that I did not stop encouraging him to continue his studies.

I know Avelino can no longer read this blog if he opens it by chance. He partially lost his sight due to diabetes. His daughter, also my student , passed the latest nursing exam I am happy for you Avelino, May God bless you always.

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