‘Very inspiring’: 18 adults finish kindergarten in Davao Occidental

July 28, 2023 - 1:14 PM
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Pupil parents
Kinder pupil-parents of the Tabunan Elementary School in this photo posted on Facebook on July 14, 2023 (TFSofTabunan/Facebook)

Eighteen adults who graduated from kindergarten in Davao Occidental were cheered for their determination to learn despite their age.

The pupil-parents, ages 25 to 56 years old, were among those who finished kindergarten education at the Tabunan Elementary School in Malita, Davao Occidental on July 12.

ABS-CBN News reported that they are members of the local Tagakaulo tribe, who were allegedly deprived of access to education due to poverty and the distance of their homes from the nearest public school.

The adult students were part of the 45 kindergarten learners of class adviser Romnick Masayao, who said it was the first time their school had accepted pupil-parents.

“Hindi sila nakapag-aral noong bata pa sila dahil ayaw silang pag-aralin ng kanilang mga magulang dahil malayo ang kanilang paaralan sa kanilang bahay, at takot ang kanilang mga magulang na baka may mangyari sa kanila sa daan,” he said in an interview.

“Wala rin po kasi silang suporta na nakukuha galing sa kanilang mga magulang at mas gusto na lang nila na mag-asawa na lamang,” Masayao added.

According to them, the pupil-parents were separated from the young students in the classroom since the teachers observed they felt embarrassed when mixed with the younger ones.

Masayao shared that the pupil-parents were determined to learn and easy to handle since they came from the same Lumad tribe.

“Isa rin po kasi akong Tagakaulo kaya mas madali po silang nakapag-open up sa akin at nasasabi po nila ang kanilang nararamdaman,” he said in the interview.

“Proud po akong sabihin na mula sa hindi marunong sumulat ng kanilang ng mga pangalan, ay ilan po sa kanila ay marunong nang magbasa ng Tagalog,” the class adviser added.

He shared that the adults’ will to learn is a testament that it is not too late to pursue one’s dream.

“Ang pag-aaral ay wala sa edad. Ito po ay choice natin kung gusto po talaga nating matuto. Laging tandaan na ang paaralan ay bukas para sa lahat ng gustong matuto. Wala itong pinipiling edad, kasarian, o estado ng buhay,” Masayao said.

ABS-CBN’s report about the pupil-students went viral on Facebook, garnering a whopping number of 526,000 likes and love reactions, 7,000 shares, and over 9,500 comments so far.

Below are other Facebook posts about the adult learners:

Filipinos who learned the story shared their thoughts online, with some saying that the pupil-students were “very inspiring.”

“Congratulations, graduates!! Hindi hadlang ang edad para abutin natin kung ano man ang nais natin sa [buhay] natin. Good job,” parents,” a Facebook user commented.

“Congratulations. Indeed, age doesn’t matter in the name of education… anyone can pursue their dreams as long as [you] have the courage, yes, you can,” another online user wrote.

“Very inspiring po [kayo], sana lahat kaya gawin ‘yan. God bless,” commented a different Pinoy.

“Congratulations po mga nanay [and] tatay, hindi hadlang ang edad para sa pag-abot ng mga pangarap, nakaka-proud ang pagsisikap ninyo,” another Facebook user said with clapping emojis.

Kindergarten is the compulsory entry stage to basic education.

The Kindergarten Education Act said that students at this level are five years of age since it is “within the critical years where positive experiences must be nurtured to ascertain school readiness.”

“Various researches support that this is the period of greatest growth and development, when the brain develops most rapidly and almost at its fullest. It is also the stage when self-esteem, vision of the world and moral foundations are established,” it added.

Meanwhile, there have been stories of adults pursuing their studies regardless of age.

Earlier this month, a 71-year-old went viral for finishing her elementary studies.

55-year-old father was also cheered for passing the Bar exam which his daughter said was “20 years in the making.”