The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - For Madonna S. Apang, an Aeta native, there is no obstacle that cannot be surmounted by a determined heart. Her story proves it: not even a weak and damaged bridge at Floridablanca, Pampanga could stop her from going to school and earning a degree.
"Teacher Donna," as what her students in their community fondly call her, is the first Aeta ever to pass the licensure exam for teachers. When she became a licensed teacher, she wanted to help her fellow Aetas by educating them.
Instead of children, Teacher Donna's students are the parents in the community.
"Napansin ko po na kung walang education yung parents, hindi nila ipupush yung anak nilang makatapos. [I noticed that if parents are not well-educated, some would not push their children to finish their studies], Teacher Donna said in an interview with News5.
Far from the conventional way of schooling or formal education, Teacher Donna's module in teaching is the Alternative Learning System (ALS) or non-formal education. Inside the classroom, she teaches parents who weren't able to finish elementary some basic skills like writing, reading and arithmetic. Her number of students ranges from 20 to 30, and class days are on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This is a big help according to 45-year old, Dulce David, who only finished grade two: "Magagamit mo sa buhay mo, kung paano mo gamitin yun sa kabuhayan mo tulad sa negosyo para hindi ka maisahan ng iba. [You can use it in your life; you can apply it to make a living, like in business, so people won't fool you.]"
Alagang Kapatid Foundation extends help
Due to lack of school supplies, Teacher Donna did not think twice about seeking help from TV5's Alagang Kapatid Foundation.
Alagang Kapatid Foundation, together with TV5 news anchor Cheryl Cosim, went to the community to donate notebooks, pencils, paper and other school supplies at the Camachile Elementary School, a public elementary school in Floridablanca, Pampanga.
Besides the school, the foundation extended help by spearheading a project to fix the weak bridge in the nearby area for the people's convenience.
Determination is key
Teacher Donna's determination to become a teacher is truly an example for her fellow Aetas and the whole community. She proved that being part of an indigenous community is not a hindrance to fulfilling one’s dreams. For the parents' part, their age did not stop them from learning and gaining knowledge. With Aliana Gimena, InterAksyon.com