MANILA, Philippines – We all know that today’s children will go to great lengths to get a good education. But, in this remote barangay in Iligan City, students literally need to cross a tight rope just to get to school.
A video posted on Facebook by teacher Yasmin Mangorsi shows a young boy and his sister struggling to cross a river using a tight rope bridge, or lubid, in G’Tum, Barangay Lanipao, some 17 kilometers from the center of Iligan City.
Mangorsi took the video in August and posted it on Facebook to show the public what children in Iligan have to do just to get to school. Without the bridge, her students have to pass through 5 mountains to get to school. A journey that would normally take 3 hours now takes only 1 hour, but puts the children at significant risk.
There used to be a hanging bridge there but it was destroyed when typhoon Sendong (Washi) hit in 2011. After Sendong, students had to swim to cross the river. They would put their school uniforms in plastic bags or leave them by the riverside to keep it dry.
The townspeople made an improvised bridge out of rope and the remaining posts from the old hanging bridge.
She hopes someone can help them by building a proper and safer bridge.
“Naawa ako sa mga students ko,” (I feel sorry for my students) said Mangorsi who has taught for 6 years in the area. She added that her students would tell her stories of classmates who fell off the rope bridge or who lost a school project when it fell, but she didn’t think much of it until she saw the dangerous bridge herself.
“Parang wake up call sa akin, dapat may mangyari dito,” (It was a wake up call for me. I said ‘something should change here.”) said Mangorsi.
Mangorsi, who teaches MAPEH subjects for the High School, is also appealing to the public for books for their small library. She said the children have nothing else to read except the text books provided by the Department of Education. The children would learn a lot from general reference books, short stories, and non-fiction books, she added. (READ: #InspireCourage: The education of Daniel Cabrera)
Netizens quickly shared the video online and called on the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to help the barangay. As of this posting, Mangorsi said she was aware of the public’s response and possible assistance from the government but has not yet been contacted directly. – Rappler.com
If you would like to help the students of Bgy Lanipao and the local school there, you may contact teacher Yasmin Mangorsi via her Facebook page.
If you would like to help build a library or donate books or toys for the children, you can also contact the Library Renewal Partnership and the Philippine Toy Library.
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