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Colonial era school building in Sorsogon replaced by a green structure

A dilapidated, over a century-old Gabaldon school building constructed during the American colonial era in Sorsogon City was torn down recently. Replacing the run-down, ancient structure was a two-story building constructed at the height of the pandemic.

The new Basud Elementary School building in Sorsogon City complies with the requirements set by the Department of Education for a green school.

Joji Buelvo, 52, principal of the school said that the new building was a great gift to their 570 learners and 20 teachers. Buelvo thanked SM Foundation for sponsoring the construction.

“This will fight the pandemic and the children will be inspired to learn more. The donations given by the SM will help the students and the modular distance learning as 10 units of laptops, organ, books, 570 school supplies, with school bags, school materials were given,” she said during the turnover ceremony last January 8.

GREEN SCHOOL. A classroom in the new 2-story school building of Basud Elementary School in Sorsogon City.

Rhaydz Barcia/Rappler

She said that before COVID-19 pandemic, intermediate classes were held in old, run-down classrooms where the ceilings were deformed and the roof dripping during rainy days.

“Classrooms were no longer conducive for learning and risky. Now with these 2-storey fully furnished classrooms come face to face mode of teaching. Our learners will be surprised by this gift of learning,” the principal said.

 The inauguration of the building, said Buelvo, was timely because it came at the beginning for the new normal teaching and learning environment due to the pandemic.

“We are overwhelmed that from the many schools in Sorsogon our school was chosen. This partnership is a great support in the DepEd’s dream of providing classrooms conducive to learning,” she said.  

Juris Soliman, project director of SM Foundation, said that the school structure was built at a cost of more than P5 million. Included in that amount were the equipment their group supplied the school

Each of the 4 classrooms has its own toilet and washing area with a pump.

“This is the best school with a guidance room, mini library, clinic and science room. For students can read during breaks,” said Soliman.

Basud Elementary School was chosen among the 5 schools recommended to the foundation, said Soliman.

 The new building also has a PWD ramp leading to a spacious (PWD) washroom with handrails, flush toilets, and wash basins. A long concrete tiled bench has also been added for the comfort of the PWD.

Each classroom has an allocation of 5 chairs for left-handed pupils, or a total of 20 out of 200 armchairs here. The school also has 16 wall fans, 8 whiteboards, 4 sets of teacher’s desks and 4 wall clocks

Shelves made for the teachers’ room and the guidance office, and a weighing scale were donated for the clinic isolation room. The school building is also equipped with emergency lights at the landings of both staircases. A fire and earthquake alarm bell were also installed in the building.

The school's facilities are aligned with United Nations-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A brand new, ten-faucet facility for washing hands was also installed at the side of the building. There is also a study garden (a green space) with concrete benches and tables.   

Other donations to Basud Elementary School included 10 laptops from SGB and Company and school supplies.

Basud Elementary School was founded in June, 1919 on a 16,425 square meter land area at Barangay Basud in this city. It serves an average of more than 50 pupils per class, with a continuously increasing learner population from neighboring barangays and other places. It has a total of 24 classrooms.

Basud ES is considered as a medium sized school with 550 pupils in the 2019-2020 school year. This year at least 570 were enrolled.

Half of the pupils come from families of farmers selling crops, rice, fruits, and vegetable produce, coconuts and native kakanins and viands. Only 30% are from government and private employees, while 20% are OFW families.

“I hope this will encourage the students to study harder,” Ryan C. Servano, SM assistant mall manager said. –